In 1971 in Ramsar Iran adopted the convention on Wetlands. It is an intergovernmental treaty and gives the framework on how wetlands need to be protected and how to use its resources wisely. The mission of the Convention is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the World.”
Why are wetlands important/ to begin with wetlands prevent flooding by holding water. They keep water levels normal and also filter and purify the surface water. They function very much like a sponge would when submerged in water. When water levels are low wetlands slowly release the water they hold. Besides being a store for water they also release vegetative matter into rivers. This provides food for fish. They also counter the human effect on rivers by rejuvenation them and surrounding ecosystems. Wetlands are ideal during migration and for reproduction.
As we can see wetlands are not only essential but also unique. However they are not isolated and independent but connected to the land around it, the flora, fauna animals and people. It is the wetlands that improve other ecosystems because they act like cleansing agents. In fact they work as kidneys do in a human. They control the water flow and clean the system. Wetlands clean the water because they can filter out sedimentation decomposing vegetative matter and convert chemicals into useable form. This ability to recycle gives them an important role to play in the well being of the earth. Wetlands are probably the only eco system that is as productive or unique in its process of conversion. It is for this reason that in some places artificial wetlands have been created.
The theme for World Wetlands Day 2014 is Wetlands and Agriculure. This is because 2014 is the UN International Year of Family Farming.