The Ministry of Environment announced on Monday that it will organise, through the Nature Conservation Sector, a number of events as part of the celebrations of the World Wetlands Day, which the world celebrates every year on the second of February.
The second of February marks the adoption of the International Convention on Wetlands Conservation, which was signed in 1971 in the city of Ramsar, Iran with the aim of protecting wetland birds and their environments.
This year’s celebration holds the slogan “Wetland and Biodiversity,” in the context of declaring 2020 a special year for biological diversity (Biodiversity Super Year). The Ministry organises a number of activities in Egypt’s protected areas declared as global Ramsar sites or others sites that include other wetlands, in order to promote them and highlight their importance and value to the environment, people, and their role in protecting biological diversity.
Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad explained that the environmental importance of wetlands is due to being transitional regions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This unique ecosystem performs many functions for the service of humans such as water purification and high production of food including fish and other marine species.
Additionally, wetlands gain importance from its biological and genetic richness represented in marine and plant organisms and livestock, especially birds, as well as wetland products in high-productivity ecosystems, such as mangroves and seagrass, that are breeding grounds for fish, in addition to their role as sources of groundwater aquifers and freshwater storage.
Wetlands are qualified to be classified as reservoirs for biological diversity, as they contain 40% of the total species in the world. Beach wetlands are of particular importance in the life of migratory birds as they are a habitat for many animal species in droughts and other environmental hazards such as floods, torrents, and climate change, according to the statement of the environment minister.
The minister explained further that Egypt has four declared locations as global Ramsar regions: Zaranik, Burullus, Qarun Lake, and Wadi Al Rayan.