On February, 2nd, we celebrate World Wetlands Day!
The wetlands of today are essential for human health and prosperity, and the benefits they provide have
enormous economic and social value. As confirmed by the 2013 report, The Economics of Ecosystems and
Biodiversity: Water and Wetlands, which we are proud to have contributed to, the ecosystem services
provided by wetlands, on a per unit area basis, are the most valuable of all of our ecosystem types.
The benefits provided by wetlands are enjoyed by people directly and indirectly. In their role as natural
infrastructure, wetlands underpin the availability of clean water for drinking, protect us from the extremes
of flooding and drought and can play a significant role in recycling nutrients and chemicals thereby
helping us to sustainably manage waste. These, and other, indirect benefits of wetlands enable our
societies and economies to continue to function and thereby sustain system-wide livelihoods for both rich
and poor alike.
Wetlands are at the centre of livelihoods around the world, and are a major source of employment
globally. Close to a billion people in Asia, Africa and the Americas depend on rice grown in wetlands for
their main livelihood, with 80 per cent of world production coming from small scale family farmers and
consumed locally. Some 660 million people depend on fishing and aquaculture in wetlands for their main
livelihood support. International tourism generates well over US$ 1 trillion worldwide per year,
accounting for about 9 per cent of global employment, and about half of these tourists seek relaxation in
For more info on the World Wetlands Day see here.