Author: Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
Wetlands are vital for human survival. They are among the world’s most productive environments; cradles of biological diversity that provide the water and productivity upon which countless species of plants and animals depend for survival.
“Wetlands are indispensable for the countless benefits or ‘ecosystem services’ that they provide humanity, ranging from freshwater supply, food and building materials, and biodiversity, to flood control, groundwater recharge, and climate change mitigation.
“Yet study after study demonstrates that wetland area and quality continue to decline in most regions of the world. As a result, the ecosystem services that wetlands provide to people are compromised” (Ramsar website, http://www.ramsar.org/about/the-importance-of-wetlands).
February 2 is celebrated annually as the World Wetlands Day. It is the anniversary date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (popularly known as the Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.
The annual observance is meant to raise awareness on the importance of wetlands and sustain initiatives and action to promote its value, wise use and conservation. “Wise use” means “the maintenance of their ecological character, achieved through the implementation of ecosystem approaches, within the context of sustainable development.” It means “the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and all the services they provide, for the benefit of people and nature” (http://www.ramsar.org/about/the-wise-use-of-wetlands).