The United Nations has declared 2nd February every year since 1997 as World Wetlands Year to commemorate the beginning of the Wetlands Convention, signed on 2nd February 1971 in Ramsar, an Iranian city on the Caspian coast. To date, 171 countries around the world have signed the Ramsar Wetlands Convention, which is committed to the conservation of wetlands and their wise use. Currently, there are over 2300 Ramsar wetlands in the world. The surface area of wetlands designated under the Ramsar Convention is 249, 579, 562 million hectares. This area is slightly larger than the state of Mexico. Ramsar Secretariat provides information and data on the value and value of wetlands to government agencies, NGOs, environmental conservation agencies, media institutions, and civic organizations.
The Wetlands Day National Festival was organized in Sri Lanka on 3rd February 2020 at the ‘Ape Gama’ premises in Pelawatta, Battaramulla, with the theme ‘Wetlands full of biodiversity’. The event will feature the issuance of stamps featuring wetlands and endemic plants, Presenting prizes and certificates to the winners of the Island-wide Wetland Painting Competition, Awarding of prizes and certificates to the winners of various events at the Wetland Environment Camp, also launching Sobaketha Magazine and Wetland Sri Lanka Magazine. Wetlands will do an invaluable service to all animal divisions on earth. It supplies water, fuel, medicine, food, and fruit, as well as a wetland energy source. About 40% of the world’s plant and animal species live or breed in these wetlands. Water purification, groundwater recharge, and flood control. Prevents sea erosion and wind damage.
The purpose of celebrating Wetland Day globally is to raise awareness among the world community about wetland conservation and sustainable management, the wise use of wetlands, securing the survival of wetlands for sustainable urban survival, creation, and promotion of artificial wetlands where required, prevention of wetland destruction for industrial and agricultural purposes, elimination of erroneous agricultural practices harmful to wetlands and so on. It is also aimed at creating a positive attitude among the people towards wetlands and motivating governments, institutions, the private sector, civil society organizations, and the public to work towards the objectives and objectives of the Wetlands Convention.
There are legal provisions to protect wetlands under the National Environment Act, the Wildlife and Flora Ordinance, the Forest Conservation Act, and the Land Reclamation and Development Act. It is the responsibility and duty of all of us, the people, to ensure the complete cessation of all forms of human encroachment on wetlands and to ensure the well-being of the environment, public welfare, and security, as well as the support of the public. It should be noted that it is essential that we all adopt wetland ecosystems as well as the attitudes and practices required to protect the environment in general for the well-being of the human environment.