Play Your Part in Protecting our Wetlands
- 30 Jan
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The World Wetlands Day is a day that is commemorated to mark the signing of the Treaty on the Conservation of Wetlands which was signed on the 2nd of February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran.The Treaty became popularly known as the Ramsar Convention and its aim is to raise public awareness on conservation, proper utilisation and management of wetlands and their resources. Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty whose mission is to ensure “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
Humanity depends on wetlands and there is need to conserve and sustainably use them. This ecosystem provides and purifies our water, while replenishing the groundwater. Wetlands act as a natural sponge for protection against flooding and assist in the provisioning of water during drought. Thus they help in disaster risk reduction.
It has been noted with great concern that wetland degradation in Zimbabwe has become a major challenge . The main identified drivers of this degradation includeeffluent discharge, commercial water abstraction,water diversion,unsustainable agricultural practices, overgrazing, mining, veld fires Such has rendered the wetlands, “wastelands” These activities are threatening not only these wetlands, but the health of the general populace. The major drivers contributing to wetland degradation include high demand for residential, industrial land in urban centres and high demand for domestic water. In rural areas due to persistent drought periods, wetlands have been the source of water for communities who are into farming and livestock production.