World Wetlands Day (WWD) is commemorated annually on the 2nd of February to raise global awareness about the high importance of wetlands for people and our planet. While talking about RuWCED’s Agro-Ecology project on CRTV (state national radio station) Bamenda recently, the public was educated on the importance of wetlands, causes of wetland loss and the negative impacts of wetland loss.
Lovees, one of Projects Coordinators of RuWCED was present in the studio with Mr. Agbor Ebai, the Chief of Service for Information, Sensitisation, and Documentation at the government Regional Delegation of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development. According to them, wetlands are areas permanently or temporally saturated with water which could include swamps, peatlands, flood plains, lakes, rivers, coastal lands, springs, streams and catchment areas. They stressed on the fact that we use more water than nature can replenish. Thus, to reduce water crisis, which is alarming in the world today, wetlands must be restored and activities causing their loss must be stopped both locally and globally. They highlighted urbanisation, population growth, poor waste management, poor agricultural practices and over exploitation of aquatic resources as some of the activities endangering wetland loss.
They emphasised on the importance of preserving wetlands as it stores most of our fresh clean water, provides food to the world’s population, provides nature a home, and provides protection from floods and storms with each acre of wetland absorbing up to 1.5 million gallons of floodwater and also regulating the climate. It was mentioned that this information is very important for the population of the North West region of Cameroon at large, and especially to our rural communities where agriculture is the main activity of the rural population. More so, it was important to get this information to the population so that they are conscious and can start taking necessary measures.
The theme for this year’s commemoration was “Wetlands and Water.” On this day, we equally commemorate the signing of the Ramsar convention on Wetlands in the Iranian City of Ramsar in 1971.