World Wetlands Day 2013: Wetlands take care of water

The World Wetlands Day takes place every 2nd February to mark the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on the 2nd February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. This year the selected theme is Wetlands and water management, chosen especially as 2013 is the UN International year of water cooperation. The slogan is simple, effective and strong- Wetlands take care of water-.

The theme and slogan selected for WWD2013 aim to raise awareness on the interdependence of wetlands and water, to highlight ways to ensure the equitable sharing of water between different stakeholder groups and to emphasize that without wetlands there will be no water.

Wetlands play a major role in the availability and quality of water. They are integral components in the hydrological cycle and contain most of the water utilised to meet human needs. Water resource management is largely dependent on the hydrological functions of wetlands and equally wetland ecosystems need a minimum amount of water to maintain these functions. The wise use of wetlands is essential for the delivery of sustainable water management that also promotes sustainable economic and social development. The WWD2013 theme aims also to bring to the forefront issues of water governance and the fragmented, sectoral way in which they have largely been managed as well as the issue of transboundary water management.

For WWD2013 the Ramsar Secretariat has joined hands with UNESCO‚Äôs International Hydrological Programme and have produced a poster, sticker and leaflet on the theme, as well as something for children and a wetland cartoon for you to share and customise. All the material is available to be downloaded from the Ramsar website.Finally, we also invite you to read the Ramsar Secretary General’s message, Mr Anada Tiega, for the WWD2013.