World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February annually. With 35% of the world’s wetlands having disappeared in the last 50 years, and nearly 90% degraded since the 1700s, the theme for the 2023 World Wetlands Day is Wetland Restoration – ‘revive and restore degraded wetlands.’ Wetlands are important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, and freshwater availability.
Wetlands are areas of land that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, lakes, rivers, floodplains, peatlands, and swamps. Coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons, and coral reefs. Human-made wetlands include fishponds, rice paddies, and salt pans.
The first Convention on Wetlands was held on 2 February 1971, and on 30 August 2021, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 75/317 that established 2 February as World Wetlands Day.
Wetland plants include aquatic (water) plants that are submerged with only their flowers or leaves visible above the water surface. They also include emergent plants around wet areas with more of their features visible. Saturated wetland plants live in wet or muddy soil for most of the year.
Common wetland plants include the bulrushes, coneflowers, water lilies, monkshood, ferns, sedges, bog asphodel, and many more.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls