Today is World Wetlands Day 2020. The theme Wetlands Biodiversity: Why it matters is especially important to the Philippines – a country which is considered as the hottest of biodiversity hotspots. Wetlands are rich with biodiversity and are a habitat for a dense variety of plant and animal species. Wetlands are among the most productive life-support systems in the world and are of immense socio-economic and ecological importance to mankind. They are critical for the maintenance of biodiversity and perform a great role in the biosphere. The biological diversity of Asia’s wetlands is extremely high and the region is the global centre of diversity for a number of ecosystems or species groups. It is, for example, the global centre of mangrove diversity with over 60 species of mangrove tree compared with between 7 and 12 in Africa and the Americas. The freshwater and peat swamp forests of Southeast Asia, which are the largest and best developed in the world, are botanically also very diverse with many species restricted to these habitats.
According to a Ramsar report, wetlands are under severe pressure in the Philippines. The Philippines is blessed with abundant wetlands but there is much to do to keep them healthy and to keep them providing benefit to society and the ecosystem. Wetlands provide a range of ecosystem services that nourish not only human society but the planet. This year’s theme is a unique opportunity to highlight wetland biodiversity, its status, why it matters, and promote actions to reverse its loss.
Wetlands are land areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains, and swamps. Coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons, and even coral reefs. Fish ponds, rice paddies, and saltpans are human-made wetlands.
The SCPW has been working for over two decades for the conservation and wise-use of wetlands allover the country. We will be hosting several activities through the month with its partners in celebration of World Wetlands Day 2020. Please visit the website often to be updated on them.
Visit our Facebook Page to know more.
Join the world in celebrating World Wetlands Day by sharing your pictures of wetlands and using the hashtag #WetlandBiodiversityMatters.
Visit www.worldwetlandsday.org for more information on this celebration.