World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day Quick Facts - EU

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2025 Date2 February 2025
2026 Date2 February 2026

World Wetlands Day

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World Wetlands Day History

World Wetlands Day seeks to raise awareness about the immense value and significance of wetland ecosystems. A hallmark of environmental conservation, this observance focuses on mitigating the threats and deleterious activities that endanger these vital habitats. Essential aspects acknowledged include the role of wetlands in maintaining global biodiversity, moderating the effects of climate change through carbon sequestration, and providing critical resources such as water, food, and fibre, as well as cultural and recreational services.

The establishment of World Wetlands Day can be traced back to 1971, with the adoption of the Ramsar Convention in Iran, aimed at preserving wetlands of international significance. For the European Union, this occasion underpins policy frameworks and environmental legislation that support wetland conservation and sustainable management. The continent is home to more than 329 Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, underscoring the observation's relevance. EU citizens are encouraged to understand and advocate the wise use of wetlands, recognising their contribution to mitigating climate change effects, enhancing biodiversity, and promoting human well-being.

In the European Union, World Wetlands Day is marked by numerous organised activities and initiatives. Nature walks, birdwatching trips, and photography competitions cater to public engagement. Educational seminars and workshops in schools, universities and community centres foster an understanding of the biodiversity of these ecosystems and human responsibility towards their conservation. Policy dialogues and media campaigns amplify the advocacy for sustainable wetland management. World Wetlands Day is observed annually on the 2nd of February, lending an opportunity each year for the countries in the European Union to underscore their commitment to wetland conservation and sustainable use.

Facts about World Wetlands Day

  • The theme for World Wetlands Day in 2024 was Wetlands and Human Wellbeing. The theme in 2023 was Wetland Restoration.
  • The Pantanal which is located in South America, measures over 42 million acres and is the world’s largest tropical wetland.
  • Wetlands in Europe serve as critical habitats for birds, supporting over 50% of European bird populations during their migration and breeding seasons.
  • The Natura 2000 network is a protected area network covering approximately 18% of the EU's land area and 6% of its marine territory. Many of these areas are wetlands that contribute to conserving Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.

Top things to do in the EU for World Wetlands Day

  • Go outdoors and participate in events and activities such as tree planting, bird watching.
  • Spread awareness on social media by using hashtags such as #WorldWetlandsDay or #WetlandsMatter
  • Read a book to learn more about Wetlands:
    Wetland Science: Perspectives from South Asia - by Brij Gopal and Prakash C. Trivedi
    Inventory of Wetlands of the Littoral Zone, European Union - by Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton
  • Visit Doñana National Park, Spain: This park is one of Europe's most important wetland reserves and a paradise for birds with over 500 different species observed.

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