31 January 2011

2 Feb is World Wetlands Day 2011

Singapore has wonderful wetlands to celebrate! Mangroves, freshwater swamps and streams and more!
Smooth otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
Our wetlands are home to amazing creatures including the adorable otter!
In Singapore, World Wetlands Day is celebrated at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with special events on 12 Feb including a mangrove exhibition, talks on mangroves, and guided walks!

As a special treat, NParks is also launching a new wireless trail at the wetlands that day. Be one of the first to try out this new trail with your smartphones on 12 February!

Events include:
  • Mangrove Forest Guided Walk at 9.30am and 3pm
  • Marine life at Mangroves Guided Walk at 10am and 3.30pm
  • Talk on the Role of Mangroves at 10.30am
  • Also view the Mangrove Forest Exhibition (9.30am to 7pm) and Uses of Mangrove Station Exhibits (10am to 7pm).
More details on wildsingapore happenings and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve website.

What is World Wetlands Day about?

From the RAMSAR website

World Wetlands Day marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar; thus also called the Ramsar Convention.

Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community take this opportunity to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.

What is the Ramsar Convention?

The Ramsar Convention's mission is "the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world".

What is World Wetlands Day 2011 about?

Wetlands and Forests, this is the theme for World Wetlands Day 2011, especially chosen because 2011 is the UN International Year of Forests.

Our slogan is simple – Forests for water and wetlands – allowing us to look at the ‘big picture’ of forests in our lives, including:

Forested wetlands and the special benefits they bring. Mangroves, peatswamp forests, freshwater swamp forests: biologically diverse, helping us manage our freshwater, and providing us with many other ‘services’ across the globe including vital roles in carbon storage – our allies in the face of climate change. Despite their utility, they are often under threat from development, from drainage and conversion.

The role of forests – wet or not – in our lives, and why looking after them matters. Vital to all human lives, freshwater availability on a global scale depends on our forests. So too, to a large extent, does freshwater quality.

The role of forests in how our wetlands function. It’s simple: the health of our wetlands, whether forested or not, is linked to the health of forests in our catchments. Losing and degrading forests means losing and degrading wetlands.

We cannot manage without forests, whether terrestrial forests or forested wetlands, given the critical roles that they play in our lives – for water, for food, for livelihoods, for recreation and more.

More about Ramsar sites on this earlier post
  • What are the criteria for classifying Ramsar sites?
  • What is the status of the Ramsar convention?
  • Does Singapore have a Ramsar site?

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