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World Wetlands Day:
February 2nd, 2024

World Wetlands Day marks the signing of The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance that took place in Ramsar, Iran on February 2, 1971. The goal of this international celebration is to raise public awareness of the value of wetlands and to promote wetland conservation. This year’s theme, Wetlands and Human Wellbeing, highlights the interconnectedness between wetlands and our own physical, mental and environmental health.

World Wetlands Day provides an excellent opportunity for students and teachers to explore local wetlands and to take action on their behalf.

Why Care about the Wetlands?

Wetlands and Water:

  • Wetlands along with lakes and rivers supply most of the world’s freshwater
  • Only 2.5% of the earth’s water is freshwater and of that <1% is potable
  • Wetlands function to remove many pollutants & improve freshwater quality


  • Wetlands provide the planet’s second most bio-diverse ecosystems.
  • 40% of the earth’s species breed or live in wetlands.  (Ramsar 2023)
  • Most of the world’s endangered plant and animal species depend on wetlands.

Wetlands & Human Wellbeing:

  • Wetlands’ rich biodiversity underpins quality of life for people around the world 
  • Wetlands can provide cities and their residents with multiple economic, social and cultural benefits that support human wellbeing 
  • Wetlands provide food security, clean water and guard against floods and other climate events 
  • The connection to nature that wetlands provide promotes mindfulness and a sense of emotional balance, contributing to improved mental health 
  • Wetlands have inspired the creative and spiritual minds of humans from the earliest times

Climate Change Mitigation:

  • All wetlands play a role in carbon sequestration
  • Coastal Wetlands are especially efficient in capturing carbon
  • Conservation & restoration of coastal wetlands can have a major impact on reducing emissions & impacts
  • Loss/destruction of wetlands will release large volumes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

Human Impact:

  • Up to 95% of Canada’s wetlands have been destroyed in urban areas (DUC 2023)
  • 50% of Canada’s freshwater wetlands have been destroyed (DUC 2023)
  • 65% of Atlantic Canada’s salt marshes have disappeared (CCNB 2023)
  • 35% of the world's wetlands have disappeared in the last 50 years (Ramsar 2023)

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in World Wetlands Day. Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.

Other Resources:

For more information and ideas be sure to check out the World Wetlands Day website.