Side event details
World Wetlands Day celebrates wetlands each year on the symbolic anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands, February 2, 1971. This event, created by the Ramsar Convention in 1997, grows in scale each year.
The date of February 2 was even adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2021, to recognize that wetlands are one of the most precious ecosystems in the world, which contribute to 75 indicators of the SDGs and represent a nature-based solution to: mitigate emissions through their massive carbon storage capacities, protect communities and ecosystems from climate change and reverse biodiversity loss.
Given the alarming situation of wetlands, reported by the GWO 2018 and 2021, celebrating wetlands and explaining their key role to an ever wider audience seems important to prevent their further degradation.
The objective of the side event is to encourage the best mobilization of contracting parties during the WWD, by presenting several scale of events organization to give some keys to successfully make WWD grow ever larger.
This will be an opportunity for structures operating at different scales (wetlands center, country, Ramsar Regional Initiative, flyway) to share their experiences and their organizations during WWD.
(changes may occur)
1 - Opening remarks
- M. Florent Merle, Deputy director for international relations – French Office for biodiversity
- Ms. Jacklyn Rivera Wong, Costa Rica National Focal Point – Ministry of Environment and Energy (to be confirmed)
2 - Organizing the WWD in France
For a little over 10 years, France has set up a special organization around the WWD to involve as many actors as possible in the celebration of wetlands.
This organization, which is bearing fruit with almost 800 activities offered on the occasion of WWD 2022, is based on a few key elements that ensure the success of WWD each year.
- Denis Berlemont, Communication officer and Ramsar CEPA NGO Focal point - Association Ramsar France
3 - World Wetlands day in the Mediterranean
For 3 years, MedWet has been mobilizing actors around the Mediterranean for the WWD. Thanks to the French Office for Biodiversity, 35 events are supported each year to celebrate wetlands in the Mediterranean with young people from civil society. The intervention will illustrate some of these actions deployed in the Mediterranean countries.
- Sana Mezoughi, Network Officer - Mediterranean wetlands initiative (MedWet)
- Abderahim Smari, Communication Officer - Mediterranean wetlands initiative (MedWet)
4 - World Wetlands Day lessons in Uganda
What makes WWD a success in Uganda and how organization can be scaled now that it is an international day.
- Lucy Iyango, RAMCEA regional Coordinator and Ramsar national focal point - Ramsar center for east Africa (RAMCEA)
5 - World Wetlands Day along the East Asian-Australasian flyway
Partners in EAAFP are usually using the WWD to designate new Ramsar Sites or EAAFP Flyway Network Sites and having a ceremonial event on that day. Some government partners would hold events at ministerial level. The EAAFP Secretariat would promote WWD to the other partners (Government or NGOs) to celebrate the day with the theme and materials provided by Ramsar Convention.
- Vivian Fu, Communication officer - East Asian-Australasian flyway partnership (EAAFP)
6 - China Bird Loving Week and National Wetlands Bird Nature Journal Competition
Since WWD happened to coincide with Luna year holiday, China set its own wetland celebrating time from March to May called “Bird Loving Week”. In 2022, MCF worked with many wetland reserves , government, NGOs, and schools to organize a nationwide activity Wetlands Bird Nature Journal Competition. This activity finally attracted many local partners including 25 wetlands, 43 local NGOs and more than 100 schools across 18 provinces of China. And we received 2679 art works from students. Consider most of area were influenced by COVID-19 situation this year in China, we see this result already a surprising success. It shows that how we can use diverse approach to engage the most local stakeholders to promote wetland and its value. Not in one day, not in one place, not necessarily meet in person, we can still experience and celebrate the beauty of wetlands.
- Cao Huan, Assistant of the Secretary-General - Mangrove Center Fondation (Shenzen - Chine)
7 - Providing the tools to celebrate WWD
Each year, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat produces tools to support all contracting parties celebrate WWD.
Posters, communication kit, fact sheets, etc. are made available to everyone to download in the 3 official languages of the Ramsar convention (French, English, Spanish).
The official poster and logo of WWD 2023 will be unveiled during this side-event.
- Sharon Oseku -Frainier, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Officer - Secretariat of the Ramsar convention on wetlands
8 - What about your WWD ?
Within the remaining time, everyone in attendance will be able to describe their own WWD experiences.
If you are not able to join us in Geneva, you can follow the event remotely, using this link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81308771063?pwd=UERjb0JFcXJicTNqOXo5TlVmelhwUT09