Wherever land meets water, life abounds. Wetlands exist in every corner of this beautiful planet and are the arteries and veins of the landscape. Majestic and mighty, wetlands are a sight to behold.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on 2nd of February. The commemoration raises awareness and increases people’s understanding of the critical importance of wetlands. Wetlands support critical ecosystems and biodiversity. 40 percent of all plant and animal species live or breed in wetlands.
Wetlands are rich in nature and vital to human life. They are crucial to agriculture and fisheries. They act as water sources, purifiers and protect our shores. Wetlands are the planet’s greatest natural carbon stores.
To date, nearly 90 percent of the world’s wetlands have been degraded or lost. We are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. There is an urgency to raise global awareness on wetlands to arrest and reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to restore and conserve these vital ecosystems.
With its 52 years of existence, the Ramsar Convention on the Protection of Wetlands is one of the oldest international conventions working for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The diverse wetlands such as floodplains, springs, marshes, wet meadows, alluvial cones, streams and bogs fulfil a very special task in nature conservation: as carbon reservoirs for climate protection, to safeguard our drinking water and for flood protection.
This is why we celebrate the World Wetlands Day on 2nd February every year. The theme for 2023 is ‘It’s Time for Wetland Restoration’ and this is exactly what we, at LIFE WILDisland do!
As the most international river on earth, the Danube is a model region for transnational efforts to preserve wetlands. The LIFE WILDisland project is currently working to protect and revitalise the "last wild islands" on the Danube.
More than 900 islands form a habitat network from the Black Forest to the Black Sea and we have united 15 partners from 8 countries to jointly restore and preserve a total of 34 islands from Germany to the Danube Delta in Romania. In addition to practical conservation measures - embankment removal, dredging and groyne adaptation for improved hydrology and re-dynamization, we are working on invasive species eradication and improvement of the state of natural alluvial forests.
In addition to that, with a communiqué, signed by the ambassadors of the Danube riparian states during the inaugural conference in May 2022 - DANUBEPARKS was entrusted with the preparation of a Danube WILDisland Ramsar Regional Initiative to secure political support and even mroe networking opportunities for preserving the islands along the Danube. A delegation of DANUBEPARKS presented the Danube WILDisland Ramsar Regional Initiative for the first time at the Ramsar Conference of Parties (COP14) (Geneva, November 2022). The initiative was met with great interest and future cooperation with the existing Ramsar Regional Initiatives in Europe was discussed.
In December 2022, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) underlined with a resolution the support of DANUBEPARKS for the preparation of the 21st Ramsar Regional Initiative worldwide. This Danube WILDisland Ramsar Regional Initiative is intended in particular to contribute to the protection of biodiversity on the Danube in the future and to serve as a model for borderless cooperation under the umbrella of the Ramsar Convention.
Learn more about our work, subscribe to our newsletter and take action! It's time for Wetlands Restoration!