February 2 is World Wetlands Day

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world wetlands day

Although most people recognize February 2 as Groundhog Day, there is another reason to recognize today, and that’s World Wetlands Day. The theme for 2011 is ‘Wetlands and Forests’, as 2011 is also recognized as the International Year of Forests.

World Wetlands Day has been in place since this date in 1997, but in fact is credited to February 2, 1971, when the Convention on Wetlands was held in Ramsar, Iran (near the Caspian Sea). At this event, the Ramsar Convention was adopted, which “embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the “wise use”, or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories.” (Click here for a full list of the member countries, and the date they adopted the Ramsar Convention)

Now, on February 2 around the world, after the local groundhog sees, or doesn’t see, his shadow, we should think of the wetlands and forests around the world, and do what we can to raise awareness to protect this important ecological habitat.