Monday, 31 January 2011 5:38 AM

World Wetlands Day 2011

Press Release - World Wetlands Day this year celebrates terrestrial and wetland forests and their role in our lives. The theme, Forests for Water and Wetlands highlights the intricate links between forests and wetlands such as mangroves and freshwater swamps.

Forested wetlands play a vital role in maintaining our freshwater resources and our wetlands. Forests store carbon and thus help combat global climate change regardless of where they are located.

Wetlands are full of life and rich in biodiversity - they house fish, birds, insects and a variety of plants and are often landing sites for migratory birds.

"In our region, wetlands are central to the livelihoods of our communities," said Mr. Vainuupo Jungblut, the Ramsar Officer Oceania at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"Wetlands often mean food, water, income, medicines and employment for our people. They also form the foundation of our cultural heritage and traditions here in the Pacific. Our Forests have a key part to play in ensuring that our wetlands remain healthy so this is one really good reason why we need to take care of them."

Take time to appreciate the role of wetlands in our lives and celebrate World Wetlands Day on 2 February this year.