22 March 2010 | GLAND – World Water Day is the occasion for the Ramsar Secretariat to join with the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and individuals around the world to actively engage in addressing wise use of water to maintain its quality. The theme of this year’s World Water Day, “Clean water for a healthy world”, underlines the need to raise awareness about preserving healthy ecosystems and restoring degraded wetland ecosystems. There are too many examples of water pollution with dramatic impact on human well-being. It is time we take measures to address the increasing global water challenge.
Wetlands play a key role in capturing, storing, purifying and transporting water so keeping wetlands healthy contributes to the provision of clean water. The Ramsar Secretariat recently launched a set of factsheets profiling the ‘ecosystem services’ – the benefits people obtain from ecosystems – provided by wetlands. They illustrate the great diversity of ecosystem services delivered by wetlands, including for example their capacity to purify water and replenish groundwater sources, and the tremendous loss to people and their well-being when these services are lost or reduced.
With the global population set to increase to nine billion by 2050, increasing pressure on water resources and the threats posed by climate change, the need to maximise these benefits has never been greater or more urgent.
On this World Water Day, the Ramsar Secretariat reaffirms its commitment to the conservation and wise use of wetlands as a contribution to securing the quantity and quality of fresh water that is required to sustain human well-being.
Statement by Anada Tiéga
Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands