Dr. Musonda Mumba, Secretary General, Convention on Wetlands

22 Jan 2024

Wetlands and people are life interlaced. Wetlands are central to our wellbeing. Whether it be through the provision of clean water, acting as the source of food or protecting us from extreme weather events, healthy wetlands equate to our wellbeing.


World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on 2 February. The commemoration raises awareness and increases people’s understanding of the critical importance of wetlands. In every corner of the world, human beings have depended on wetlands for centuries, drawing sustenance, inspiration and resilience from these important environments.


Despite the numerous benefits that humans receive from wetlands, every day wetlands are damaged by human beings. Wetlands are being destroyed by unsustainable agricultural practices which are a primary cause of wetland loss through drainage and infilling. Many wetlands, particularly those near cities, have also been polluted by human activities and recently further degraded by plastic pollution, which exacerbates the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss and pollution ultimately affecting human health.


Current trends in human settlement also pose a major threat to the conservation and wise use of wetlands in and near growing cities. As cities grow and demand for land increases, the tendency is to encroach on wetlands and these are disappearing three times faster than forests. Hence, we need to stop the ongoing destruction and encourage actions to conserve and restore these vital ecosystems.


The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands invites you to join the World Wetlands Day celebrations on 2 February 2024. The theme for the day is “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing”. With only six years left to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, there is an urgent need to act now.


For World Wetlands Day 2024, I invite you to take action in three ways:

  • Make conscious choices to stop polluting wetlands;
  • Join the global effort to conserve and sustainably manage wetlands; and
  • Take part in wetland restoration efforts locally.


Be a part of the solution by taking the above actions and sharing your stories of wetlands conservation with the Secretariat and others.


Engage with us this World Wetlands Day and follow the celebrations across our social media platforms.