The 2nd of February is the World Wetlands Day (WWD) and this year it also marks forty years since the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Like every year many Mediterranean countries will celebrate this day with festivities, lectures and activities around wetland sites or wider educational campaigns. Some countries have chosen to customize the Ramsar WWD material in their own language and add information on their national wetland sites and some have chosen to create their own.
In MedWet we aim to create a complete list of WWD activities around the Mediterranean with the generous support of our National Focal Points. From the information we have managed to gather already many interesting activities have come up. In Corsica the celebrations will last five days and will involve a wide range of activities and target audiences. On the 1st February a press conference will be organized to present the pedagogical material developed for educating young people on wetlands, some of which were created for the 10th Mediterranean Wetlands Committee in Corsica in June 2010. Mr Nejib Benessaiah, MedWet Interim Coordinator will be present for this event and will represent both the MedWet and Ramsar Secretariats. Various wetlands like the Etang of Biguglia, the Noceta wetland and the peatbog of Moltifao will be open to the public and will have guided presentations by the relevant authorities. Furthermore, lectures will be given in the University of Corsica on the theme of “Forests and Wetlands” and all schools in the department of Haute-Corse will be given brochures and posters on wetlands. For a complete list of activities in French please click here.
In Croatia celebrations will be held in two Ramsar sites, Lonsko Pole and Kopatki Rit, and will last for three days. Like every year, these celebrations will actively involve the local population that live around these important wetlands. In Serbia, activities and lectures will take place in the Institute of Nature Conservation in Novi Sad. Bosnia and Herzegovina will celebrate the WWD through media promotions on the television, radio and newspapers as well as special school lessons dedicated to the WWD. On the 2nd February celebrations will be held in the Hutovo Blato wetland, organized this year with the help of the WWF office in Mostar. In Jordan, the Ministry of Environment and in Libya the Environment General Authority will hold awareness raising activities to local stakeholders on the value of wetlands. In Portugal, lectures and activities will be held in the Man and Biosphere Reserve of the Paúl do Boquilobo.
In Egypt, the Ramsar WWD2011 material will be translated into Arabic and information will be added on their regional wetlands. In fact, Egypt is one of the few Mediterranean countries that have mangroves, a particular type of forested wetland found mainly in the tropics. As WWD2011 is dedicated to forested wetlands it is of particular relevance.
It is worth noting the excellent work done by the Centro Espanol de Humedales (CEHUM), Fundacion Biodiversidad who have organised a variety of activities in Gandia, Valencia but also all over Spain. They have successfully combined the WWD, the 40th anniversary of Ramsar and the European year of volunteering. On the 2nd February they will begin their awareness raising campaign named “Mójate por los humedales” in English “Get wet for wetlands” in partnership with five not for profit organizations which aims to promote best practices in the conservation of wetland ecosystems all over Spain. On the 3rd of February they will also begin accepting candidates for the CEHUM prize for scientific research on wetlands. Finally, the premiere of a new documentary on Spanish wetlands will take place in Madrid on the WWD.
If you would like us to publish information on your WWD activities or any material you have created please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit for cover picture: CEHUM