Yes, it is time to celebrate! What's the ocasion? Tomorrow is February 2nd... World Wetlands Day!
On February 2nd, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea, an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources was signed. There are presently 157 Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1678 wetland sites, totaling 150 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community use this opportunity to create actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.
From 1997 to 2007, the Convention’s Web site has posted reports from more than 95 countries of WWD activities of all sizes and shapes: lectures, seminars, nature walks, children’s art contests, community clean-up days, photography contests, radio and tv interviews, letters to newspapers, etc.
Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People is the theme for World Wetlands Day 2008, and I got a few emails about activities that were going to take Place in Peru: today, INRENA has a series of open to the public seminars regarding health and water, conservation of wetlands, species at wetlands, etc. There's also a photography contest open for nature lovers that only requests that pictures are related to Amazonas wetlands, with the object of educating citizens from the region and around it.
There are activities developing all over the world these days, it's going to be an interesting weekend! Here are some ideas of what people is doing or going to do in...
... Argentina: Art exhibit with 'water' as the main 'character'
... Australia: Do it yourself material (create turtles for example), posters and fact sheets for kids and adults
... Botswana: Conferences and activities
... Cameroon: Designated new RAMSAR zones
... South Africa: Rivers clean ups, walks and talks
... Colombia, Paraguay, Lebanon, Morroco, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, the list goes on and on and on.
It would be nice if people shouldn't have to 'wait' for a particular day to actually do more, actions like these should be done on regular basis and spread like a virus...
Awareness virus... Care to spread it?