world wetlands day

Dipor bill community welcomes this year’s theme “SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD”

World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.

World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997. Since then government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups have celebrated World Wetlands Day by undertaking actions to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands. These activities include seminars, nature walks, festivals, announcement of new Ramsar sites, newspaper articles, radio interviews and wetland rehabilitation.

World Wetlands Day 2016

“Sustainable livelihoods”

The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2016 is Wetlands for our future: sustainable livelihoods. This theme reflect the “Biorights”, of thousands community members sustaining on the wetlands, Biorights program is an innovative community based pro-conservation effort. Biorights programme evolved under the leadership of SAFE, as a commons endeavor to conserve their natural resources from climate impacts and protect their property rights from urban encroachment.

The success of ‘Biorights’ proclaimed a new era of pro-poor economic reform towards sustainable environment development in global south and portrayed the success of community governance in environmental conservation.

Wetlands conservation has been a flagship initiative of SAFE, since inception. The biorights conservation paradigm of SAFE that has drawn attention of environmental economists globally has also been developed in the backdrop of ecosystem services in Ramsar wetlands. Continuing the efforts, SAFE since last year has been able to expand its wetlands conservation mission through North East India, which includes Dipor bill and Loktak lake, Ramsar wetlands.

Call for united action

Unfortunately, wetlands are often viewed as wasteland, and more than 64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1900. World Wetlands Day is an annual opportunity to raise public awareness and promote the value of wetlands.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has developed a number of downloadable World Wetlands Day materials for 2016, including a teaching guide, handouts, posters and fact sheets. These materials can be found on the Ramsar Convention Secretariat’s World Wetlands Day 2016 website(link is external). Groups and individuals are encouraged to adapt these materials for their own World Wetlands Day events and activities.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is again running a photographic competition for 15-24 year olds. The photograph must be taken in a wetland and must capture how people make a living from wetlands. The winner will receive a free flight to a wetland location anywhere in the world, courtesy of Star Alliance Biosphere Connections. To enter, take a picture of your favourite wetland with your phone or digital camera between 2 February and 2 March 2016, and upload it to the Ramsar Convention Secretariat’s World Wetlands Day 2016 website (link is external).

View our previous years’ event by clicking the image below!