World Wetlands Day 2024 is celebrated on 2 February and focuses on reviving and restoring wetlands. To mark the occasion, several of our members are hosting events showcasing the importance of these diverse ecosystems and why their restoration is needed urgently.
Over the past 300 years, approximately half of Europe’s wetlands, along with those in the continental US and China, have been decimated. Regions like the UK, Ireland, and Germany have experienced losses exceeding 75%. This global trend has resulted in the disappearance of wetlands equivalent to the size of India.
Wetlands, such as coastal salt marshes, seagrass meadows, tidal mudflats, rivers and streams, lakes, bogs and floodplains, provide food and clean water for millions of people and habitat for a huge range of aquatic, terrestrial and amphibious species. Restoring these landscapes means reviving many of these services and benefits that have been lost or damaged in previous decades.
Initiatives to celebrate World Wetlands Day across europe
On February 2, a lot of events happening all over the world to get people excited about wetlands and inform them about their importance. Europe in particular offers a lot, more than 700 Events are listed on Ramsar’s World Wetland Day website. Below, some events hosted by our members are introduced.
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), UK
The WWT will launch a social media campaign on its channels on World Wetlands Day, educating about the benefits of wetlands for human well-being. To experience wetlands first hand, the WWT-wetlands enters across the UK running a “bring a friend for free” admissions offer on February 2.
More details and locations of wetland centers can be found here.
Wetlands Conservation Centre (Centrum Ochrony Mokradeł, CMok), Poland
Each year, our Member Centrum Ochrony Mokradeł (Wetlands Conservation Centre) hosts an event to celebrate World Wetlands Day. This year, in collaboration with the Faculty of Biology of the University of Warsaw and the University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska in Lublin, they invite for a three-day celebration under the motto “Life interlaced: Wetlands and People”.
2. – 4. of February, Warsaw and Lublin, Poland
On Friday, there will be a closed-door meeting of scientists, environmentalists, and decision-makers “Protection and restoration of wetlands: how to do it in Poland?” (in Warsaw), along with an expert debate in Lublin about the Polesia wetlands. The main event on Saturday is open to all and includes talks, workshops, and a “Swamp Ideas Market” featuring various wetland-related initiatives. Additionally, there will be activities for preschool and school-aged children. The celebration ends on Sunday with a wetlands walk near Warsaw.
Admission is free for all events. It takes place on-site and in Polish. A detailed program and further information is listed here. Additionally, information materials and a press release in Polish were published by Cmok for this day.
Michael Succow Foundation, Germany
On 2 February, the Michael Succow Foundation is organising an audiowalk, available via the Greifswald city’s smartphone application, across the nearby peatland Steinbecker Vorstadt Polder. The event invites participants to explore the “Meadows near Greifswald”, delving into their historical significance, as they were already shown in the eponymous painting of Caspar David Friedrich. Led by experts from the Michael Succow Foundation and Greifswald’s Mire Center, the tour offers insights into the area’s past and its relevance to the city’s development.
All details the event can be found on the MSF’s website.
Greifswald Mire Centre, Germany
Afterward, attendees can visit the construction site of the future Peatland Library, a significant repository of publications on peatlands and conservation. Hans Joosten will guide the tour and gives interesting insights to the project. Limited spots available, registration required.
More information is available at the World Wetlands Day website.
MedINA brings the exciting documentary DAMBUSTERS to Greece, marking World Wetlands Day. The film, previously screened in 17 countries, explores barrier removal from Europe’s rivers. Join MedINA at the Greek Film Archive on February 2, 2024, for a captivating journey into free-flowing rivers! Admission is free.
Our new member Natuurpunt will launch the ‘Veenplatform Vlaanderen – Nederland’ (Peatland Platform Flanders-Netherlands) on World Wetlands Day. It’s a new knowledge platform for nature managers, researchers and (local) authorities created in the cross-border cooperation project Interreg ADMIRE.
The platform shares knowledge and experience on peatland restoration and management based on three pillars (nature management, research and policy).It challenges nature managers and researchers to protect and preserve the unique and seriously threatened peatland landscapes in Belgium and the Netherlands more effectively. The importance of this platform also extends to other European and international initiatives. Besides digital exchange we will also organise seminars, field visits, a manager’s guidebook and symposia.
If you are interested in our upcoming activities such as seminars, site visits and symposia: click and follow here.