World Wetlands Day 2023: “It’s time for wetland restoration”



The Minamata Convention on mercury Thursday on 2 February 2023, on the occasion of the UN international day for Wetlands, highlights the importance of maintaining and restoring wetlands across the world to help end mercury pollution.

Executive Secretary Monika Stankiewicz stated: “Wetlands are among the most important types of ecosystems. Their functions and services are essential for human lives and biodiversity. While some of the unique characteristics of wetlands make them Nature’s champion for nutrient cycling, the same characteristics, sadly, also make wetlands hotspots for the accumulation of methylmercury – the organic and most toxic form of mercury that causes serious and irreversible neurological and physiological damage to humans and wildlife.”

Stakiewicz added: “This is why wetlands are of particular importance to the work of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. On this year’s World Wetlands Day, I would like to renew the strong commitment of the Minamata Convention to end mercury pollution and to contribute to efforts to maintain and restore wetlands across the globe so that our future generations can enjoy and benefit from these natural wonders.”

Dr. Musonda Mumba, Secretary General, Convention on Wetlands, said wherever land meets water, life abounds. Wetlands exist in every corner of this beautiful planet and are the arteries and veins of the landscape. Majestic and mighty, wetlands are a sight to behold.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on 2nd of February. The commemoration raises awareness and increases people’s understanding of the critical importance of wetlands. Wetlands support critical ecosystems and biodiversity. 40 percent of all plant and animal species live or breed in wetlands.

“Wetlands are rich in nature and vital to human life. They are crucial to agriculture and fisheries. They act as water sources, purifiers and protect our shores. Wetlands are the planet’s greatest natural carbon stores.

“To date, nearly 90 percent of the world’s wetlands have been degraded or lost. We are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. There is an urgency to raise global awareness on wetlands to arrest and reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to restore and conserve these vital ecosystems”, Mumba added.

The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands invites you to join the World Wetlands Day celebrations on 2nd February 2023; it is now recognized by the UN as an “International Day”. The theme for the day is ‘It’s ‘Time for Wetland Restoration’. With only seven years left until 2030 for us to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, time is of the essence for sure.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a great opportunity for all of us to rethink and change how humans impact the environment – and a chance to restore vital ecosystems like wetlands. Through activating all the relevant players from the general public to key stakeholders, we’re mobilizing an entire generation for wetland restoration.

For World Wetlands Day 2023, we’re calling on you to take action in three specific ways: Conscious choices to minimize our own impact on wetlands; Persuasive voices to educate and activate others to get involved in wetland restoration and bold actions and taking part in wetland restoration efforts locally.

Governments and other stakeholders are critical actors towards ensuring wetland restoration actions are being implemented on the ground. Three actions that can spearhead these restoration efforts include:

Creating a national inventory of wetlands

Setting specific targets for wetland restoration

Promoting wise use and good management practices

Be a part of the solution by influencing change and sharing your stories of conservation and restoration efforts with us from your countries and communities.