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World Wetlands Day

How many of us know about the number of wetlands that exist on our island? The answer to this question would hype the interest of nature enthusiasts. 

Every year the 2nd of February is dedicated to wetlands as the ‘World Wetlands Day‘. This day enables immense attention to the crucial role that this valuable habitat plays in balancing nature. Wetlands are saturated with water or covered with water seasonally or permanently. It has its very own ecosystem established with many creatures who embrace this habitat as their home.

What is the reason to celebrate this day so significantly? 

Wetlands are one of the most prominent nature sites nurturing the whole environment in various ways. They assist the natural cycles to process. They nourish biodiversity enormously. Wetlands are a great habitat for aquatic creatures to survive as it inherits an enhanced habitat for the species underwater. It is a resistance to flooding and drought which is created by nature itself. They ensure the protection of coastlines, ensuring that erosions do not occur. They are giant supporters of building the quality of water. Most importantly, it aids to continue the natural climate change accordingly. Wetlands are a valuable resource to mitigate climate change caused due to destructive acts by mankind.

As you can see, the usage of wetlands is tremendous and unknown to many individuals. The World Wetlands Day highlights the importance of Wetlands and also the harmfulness that has been caused to the ecosystem while emphasizing on the actions that have to be taken to protect the wetlands from destruction. Wetlands are called “the kidneys of the landscape” because of their vast service provided for the betterment of not only flora and fauna but also mankind as well. 

There are five major wetlands types namely, marine, tidal, lacustrine, palustrine, and riverine. Sri Lanka owns the estuaries with mangrove wetlands including the Maduganga estuary and the Bentota estuary. The others are Mahaweli flood plains, Bundala, Kalametiya sanctuary, and Bellanwila- Attidiya sanctuary, etc.

Wetlands are a blessing from nature.

These blissful landscapes are facing various challenges because of the destructive actions of humans. 

What are the crucial acts destroying these lands?

Filling, grading, establishing the constructions, and removal of vegetation are some of them. These kinds of human activities affect the habitat drastically. These acts could be influential in changing the water level and drainage patterns. Habitat fragmentation and invasive species are two of the most significant threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Unplanned reclamation, organic pollution or chemical effluents, improper sewage disposal, and poaching too negatively affect wetlands. 

This day is a meritorious reminder about the magnificence of the usage of wetlands and also to promote awareness about this valuable habitat. Protective actions should be continuously brought into action without limiting it to only one day!

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