Wednesday, January 13, 2016
By Anton Antonio
January 14, 2016
Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil or is present at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season.
“The Ramsar Convention (formally, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran where the Convention was signed in 1971. The convention was developed and adopted by participating nations at a meeting in Ramsar, Mazandaran, Iran, on February 2, 1971, hosted by the Iranian Department of Environment, and came into force on December 21, 1975. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance now includes 2,208 Sites (known as Ramsar Sites) covering over 210,734,269.41 hectares. The country with the highest number of Sites is the United Kingdom at 170 and the country with the greatest area of listed wetlands is Bolivia, with over 140,000 square kilometers. The Ramsar definition of wetlands is fairly wide, including “areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters” as well as fish ponds, rice paddies and salt pans. Presently there are 169 contracting parties, up from 21 initial signatory nations in 1971. The state parties meet every three years as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the first held in Cagliari, Italy in 1980. Amendments to the original convention have been agreed to in Paris (in 1982) and Regina (in 1987). There is a standing committee, a scientific review panel, and a secretariat. The headquarters is located in Gland, Switzerland, shared with the IUCN.” (Wikipedia)
There are several international agreements --- that are aimed at mitigating the effects of global warming and climate change… and, in this case, the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands --- have already been passed and agreed upon by a majority of participating countries. The next set of blogs/articles will be devoted to these international accords to increase the level of awareness on their history, aims and objectives. One such international accord is the Ramsar Convention.
Thoughts to promote positive action…
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Wikipedia, (2015). “Ramsar”. Retrieved on January 14, 2016 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramsar_Convention