Updated on 01 February 2022

World Wetlands Day (February 2nd) 2022 - Message from CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero



world wetlands day 2022It's a great pleasure for me to celebrate World Wetlands Day with you, for the first time as a United Nations International Day. This is a recognition by the United Nations of the global importance of our Wetlands and the global importance of managing them and preserving them.

In English there are nearly a hundred words that are used for wetlands – marshes, fens, moors, bogs, are just some of the common ones... but behind all of these words are little worlds that support specialised species of plants and animals and give so much to us and our planet. They can absorb tides and winds, hold flood water and give us clean air and clean water. They are vital bubbles of life or ecosystems, if you prefer.

Yet over the past fifty-five years, we’ve lost more than a third of Earth’s wetlands, almost wholly because of human activity. We have drained the water and built houses and roads and destroyed the balance of plants and animals that allowed the wetlands to flourish.

So, days like World Wetlands Day, and World Wildlife Day that is on March the 3rd, are about recognising the damage that’s been done and recognising what we need to do to manage and preserve these resources that are vital to our way of life and that one way or another, we all depend upon.

I’m pleased to say that the countries of the world have recognised what needs to be done to preserve our ecosystems and the wildlife that inhabits them. They have put in place conventions, such as Ramsar and CITES, that are designed to arrest and reverse the damage. It is now time to ensure full implementation of these conventions and achieve their objectives. We know that wetlands play a vital role in maintaining the biodiversity that is the key to our future. We know that 40% of the world’s plants and animals depend on wetlands and we know that without them we can’t achieve the sustainable development targets we’ve set ourselves. The CITES Secretariat and Parties to CITES are pleased and proud to be working with Ramsar and to collaborate closely in the work to come.

For more on the World Wetlands Day, click here: https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/