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| Last Updated:: 10/03/2021


                 World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.

World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997. Since then government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups have celebrated World Wetlands Day by undertaking actions to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands. These activities include seminars, nature walks, festivals, and launches of new policies, announcement of new Ramsar sites, newspaper articles, radio interviews and wetland rehabilitation.


Wetlands have numerous functions:

  • Wetlands provide habitat for plants and animals such as amphibians, fish, reptiles, mammals and birds 
  • Wetlands help control flood waters by acting like a giant sponge, absorbing water during heavy rainfall then slowly releasing it back into the ecosystem 
  • Wetlands can assist in erosion control as they are often located between water bodies and high ground. The roots of the vegetation help to protect soil from high impact events such as wave action or heavy rainfall events 
  • Wetlands are important culturally and for recreational activities 
  • Wetlands enhance water quality as they act like giant kidneys, purifying and processing nutrients, suspended materials and other pollutants


         Sustainable river basin management is extremely important to maintain the functions and ecosystems services of a wetland. World Wetlands Day 2009 aims to raise awareness on how we can all support healthy rivers and assess how our actions affect those downstream.


The international theme for World Wetlands Day

2021:  “Wetlands and Water ”.

2020:  “Wetlands and Biodiversity”.

2019:  “Wetlands and Climate Change”.

2018:  “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”.

2017:  “Wetlands for Disaster risk reduction”.

2016:  “Wetlands for Our Future: Sustainable Livelihood”.

2015:  “Wetlands for Our Future”.

2014:  “Wetlands and Agriculture”.

2013: “Wetlands take care of water”.

2012: “Wetlands and Tourism”.

2011: “wetlands and forests – forests for water and wetlands”.

2010: “Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change”.

2009: “Upstream-Downstream: Wetlands connect us all”.

2008: “Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People”.

2007: “Fish for tomorrow?”

2006: “Wetlands as a tool in poverty alleviation”.

2005: “Cultural and biological diversity in wetlands” and slogan: “There’s wealth in wetland diversity – don’t lose it”.

2004: “From Mountains to the Sea – Wetlands at Work for Us”.

2003: “No wetlands – no water”.

2002: “Wetlands: Water, Life, and Culture”.

2001: “Wetland world – A world to discover!”.

2000: “Celebrating Our Wetlands of International Importance”.

1999: “People and Wetlands: the Vital Link”.

1998: “Conserving wetlands to ensure availability of clean water for all”.

1997: “Benefits of Wetlands to the Human Population”.