TOPICS: Conserve wetlands
Wetlands sustain enormous diversity of aquatic and semi-terrestrial plants and animals.
They are habitats for many species of mosses, grasses, sedges, rushes, reeds and bulrushes. Most of them have the capacity of absorbing water during wet periods for filtering out silt and dissolved compounds and for releasing clear water during dry season.
Rivers that originate in or that pass through wetlands are clear and have more constant flow rates than the rivers that depend solely on runoff, especially from landscapes.
Wetlands absorb and dissipate the energetic forces of storm and flood. They recharge ground water levels, hold out the seas and are the main creators of organic soils.
They contribute moisture to the atmosphere through evaporation and transportation, thus helping to maintain the hydrology cycle from earth to air and back to earth.
They assimilate the ways to provide food, beauty and diverse recreations to humans. Wetlands are huge natural absorbers of solar energy and are effective collectors and repositories of the nutrients which slide and percolate down into them from uplands.
They convert those nutrients into living matter under the drive of the sun’s energies. They are not only associated with the existence of plants and animals and their environment but also with the lives of communities dwelling around them.
Wetlands are one of the world’s greatest yet most abused natural assets. However, many governments are not sufficiently responsible, while aid agencies continue to fund destructive drainage schemes and dams.
For example, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for wetlands campaign was boosted in London by a powerful call for action to eight governments. More governments have signed RAMSAR, the only global convention for wetlands conservation under which states cooperate to conserve wetlands habitats worldwide and to promote their environmentally sound use.
Wetlands can save lives, while drainage schemes can actually create flood problems. They can purify waste water by removing pollutants at 4 per cent of the cost of mechanical and chemical systems used.
Wetlands are the great ecological crossroads of the world of migrating birds and the main nursery grounds for decreasing nurseries. Considering this fact, WWF has launched projects to support national parks and prevent poaching in many countries.