World Wetlands Day 2017

World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.

Fledged ibis (Threskiornis moluccus) on the wing, Gingham Wetlands

A wetland is exactly what the name suggests: wet land. Wetlands are areas that are inundated by water cyclically, intermittently or permanently and can have fresh, brackish or salt water, which is generally still or slow moving. This covers a wide range of habitats, including lakes, lagoons, estuaries, rivers, floodplains, swamps, bogs, billabongs, marshes, coral reefs and seagrass beds.

The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2017 is Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction. Wetlands help reduce the impacts from storm damage and flooding, maintain good water quality in rivers, recharge groundwater, store carbon, help stabilise climatic conditions and control pests.

Wetlands provide significant economic, social and cultural benefits. They are important for primary products such as pastures, timber and fish and support recreational and tourist activities. They are also important sites for biodiversity.

Learn more about plants and animals in NSW wetlands.