Marina Monzeglio Communications Officer Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention – www.ramsar.org
Healthy wetlands are essential to feed growing global population
On Sunday 2 February, World Wetlands Day, the Convention on Wetlands calls for greater collaboration between the agriculture, water and wetlands sectors to ensure that healthy wetlands continue to provide clean water, food, and many other benefits to people and nature. Across the world, 70% of all water withdrawn from wetlands, including aquifers, rivers and lakes, is used for agriculture. Wetlands support agriculture by providing water, transport and fertile soils but also by directly supplying food and other products such as thatch or biofuel. They also provide benefits to others further downstream such as helping to store water for drinking and for energy production and providing habitat for local and migrating animals.
Food production needs to increase by 60% to feed a growing global population that could exceed nine billion people by 2050. Agricultural water consumption is estimated to increase by 19%, with much of the increased demand being for irrigation in areas which are already water-scarce.
“Wetlands provide all the water we use in our daily lives, as well as the precious water needed to grow crops and produce food,” said Christopher Briggs, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. “They also reduce the impact of storms, floods and droughts, and clean polluted water. It is important to maintain wetlands and to manage them wisely to ensure that they continue to support agriculture.”
Yukie Hori, PhD Coordinator Awareness Raising, Communication and Education Unit United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) – www.unccd.int
Healthy soil sustains your life: LET’S GO LAND-DEGRADATION NEUTRAL
The World Day to Combat Desertification is observed every year on 17 June. This year, the Day’s slogan is Healthy soil sustains your life: LET’S GO LAND-DEGRADATION NEUTRAL, said the Executive Secretary, Luc Gnacadja, when he announced the news to the press on 17 February 2012.
The world’s most significant non-renewable resource is fertile soil, which is the peel of productive land. Nevertheless, each year 12 million ha of land, the area three times the size of Switzerland, are lost due to desertification. Land degradation directly affects 1.5 billion people globally.
Record Number of Aquariums, Zoos, and Museums to Host Celebrations for World Oceans Day on June 8th
On June 8th communities around the globe will celebrate World Oceans Day as an opportunity to learn more about our ocean and take action to help conserve it. This year the celebration is bigger than ever with hundreds of family-friendly events at aquariums, zoos, museums, exciting online events, and strong prospects for a new youth movement to protect the ocean!
"A record number of aquariums, zoos, and museums are providing ways on World Oceans Day for their visitors to get inspired and take personal action to help our world’s ocean," said Bill Mott, director of The Ocean Project. World Oceans Day provides an opportunity for people across the country and around the world to celebrate our ocean connections, do more for ocean conservation, and learn more about our ocean!"
World Oceans Day coordinator, Alyssa Isakower, commented, “The worldwide response has been more enthusiastic than ever. June 8th provides a chance for the world to rally for a generation of ocean advocates who go beyond raising awareness and take real action for ocean protection.”
Lucita Jasmin Division of Communications and Public Information United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – www.unep.org
The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is Green Economy: Does it include you? Evidently, there are two parts to this theme and the first tackles the subject of the Green Economy. This is where some people shut off their minds because they find the concept of the Green Economy a little too complex to understand.
The UN Environment Programme defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
Natalie Epler Associate Information Management Officer UNEP/CMS – www.cms.int
Migratory Birds and People – Together through Time
World Migratory Bird Day 2012 (12-13 May 2012) celebrates the continuing relationship between migratory birds and people. The relationship between birds and people has always been a special one, and the closer one looks at these valuable associations, the greater these connections seem to become. Throughout time and across cultures humans have relied on birds, be it to supply food, to deliver messages, or to serve as symbols of power and prestige.