World Wetlands Day will be held on Friday the 2nd February 2018. The annual event celebrates the signing of the international Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar on this date in 1971. Australia was the first signatory to the convention and continues to play a leading role by conserving wetlands around the country. Conservation Volunteers Australia will celebrate World Wetlands Day by holding thirteen local community events across the country.
The World Wetlands Day events are part of our Revive Our Wetlands program, supporting partners to maintain healthy wetlands and their catchments for nature and people. The national initiative for wetland conservation engages communities to conserve wetlands at priority locations across Australia.
Wetlands play a vital role in the water cycle, providing water for drinking, farming, industrial use and recreation. They store floodwater and filter pollutants to improve water quality. Wetlands store carbon, and are biodiversity “hotspots”, providing highly diverse habitats for plants and wildlife. More than one-third of endangered species rely directly or indirectly on wetlands for survival. Over 50% of Australia’s wetlands have been lost since European settlement. Conservation Volunteers Australia is committed to addressing wetland loss and restoring wetland values through Revive Our Wetlands.
Since launching on World Wetlands Day in 2017, Revive Our Wetlands has helped restore wetlands all around Australia.
Helping the largest shorebird in the world
An example of a Revive Our Wetland project is a major project to engage the community in conservation of the Eastern Curlew at 10 sites from Wollongong to Darwin. Conservation Volunteers Australia will be helping to restore important habitat to protect the critically endangered Eastern Curlew, a large wading shorebird reaching up to 66cm tall. The Eastern Curlew requires two types of habitats to survive, one within the tidal zone, mudflats, and mangrove swamps and one above it amongst sand dunes and salt pans when their feeding ground becomes inundated. It has an elongated curved bill for finding food, and long legs that enable them to wade throughout the mudflats.We will be undertaking different restoration activities and bird surveys to improve their habitat.
To find out what World Wetlands Day events are on near you, search for ‘World Wetlands Day’ here. We hope to see you there!
CVA is proud to host the secretariat of the Australian Wetland Network. World Wetlands Day events in NSW are assisted with funds from the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust.