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🇬🇧 What are Wetlands? By Cristina Flores Castro.

What are Wetlands?

Wetlands occur where water meets land. They include mangroves, peatlands and marshes, rivers and lakes, deltas, floodplains, and flooded forests, rice-fields, and even coral reefs. Wetlands exist in every country and in every climatic zone, from the polar regions to the tropics, and from high altitudes to dry regions.


Why Wetlands Matter

Wetlands cover a small percentage of the earth’s surface, yet they are essential systems – they are the arteries and veins of the landscape. They are rich in nature and vital to human life. They act as water sources and purifiers. They protect our shores. They are the planet’s greatest natural carbon stores. They are crucial to agriculture and fisheries. A world without wetlands is a world without water.

Photo by Cristina Flores Castro

 

Wetlands are a source of:




Prosperity Wetlands are often the engines of local economies. By using wetlands wisely and diversifying livelihood options for local communities, it is possible to reverse the trend of wetland loss, poverty, and inequity.




Sufficient clean water The demand for water is growing at more than twice the rate of population increase. Competition between water for human consumption, agriculture, and energy is intensifying. By improving water sharing and restoring wetlands, water supplies can be safeguarded.



Plentiful food By adjusting water and agricultural practices in wetlands and incorporating wetlands in agricultural landscapes, long term food security can be assured and biodiversity enhanced.





Protection from disasters The impacts of natural and man-made disasters are increasing due to climate change, poorly planned development and environmental degradation. 90% of disasters are water-related but reversing loss and damage to wetlands can be part of the solution.



Carbon storage Wetlands are amongst the earth’s top carbon stores. By conserving and restoring high carbon wetlands we can reduce carbon emissions and increase our capacity to adapt to climate change while improving biodiversity, water security, and human well-being.



Diverse and beautiful nature Wetlands support abundant and unique nature, but freshwater biodiversity has declined drastically since the 1970s. Concerted action by individuals, civil society groups, governments, and the private sector is urgently needed to reverse this trend.




Photos by Cristina Flores Castro, Ángela Rojas and Francesca Reina.

 

Text by Cristina Flores Castro


Reference:

Wetlands international

https://www.wetlands.org/



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1 Comment


Maris Garcia Lopez
Maris Garcia Lopez
Jul 26, 2020

Muy interesante y bien escrito, gracias

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