What are wetlands and why do we need to protect them?

Wetlands are natural habitats characterized by the presence of water. They could be swamps, ponds, marshes, lagoons and artificial reservoirs.

They are home to amphibians, fish and migrating birds.

Moreover they offer a wide range of eco-system services like the replenishing of drinking water and the absorption of toxic substances. They protect us from flags and combact climate change.

For this reason the World Wetlands Day has been celebrated since 1997. The World Wetlands Day was started following the Ramsar Convention in Iran in 1971. It is an agreement signed by 168 countries and today undersigned by 176 countries. This agreement recognizes the importance of conserving and protecting these habitats.

Today the Ramsar Convention is 50 years old and includes a list of about 2.200 wetlands in the word of wich 65 are found in Italy.

In Italy there are the lakes in Circeo National Park and many species of birds stop in the Garden of Ninfa and in the lakes of Pantenello park, during their migration. This is a wet environment in wich LIFE Greenchage will intervene with the creation of a new area to facilitate access for amphibians.

Greenchange will also restore wet systems along the Ufente river and will build wetlands in some private farms such as Gelasio Caetani.

The wetlands of Lazio are crucial for the protection of amphibians whose populations are experiencing a serious decline worldwide.

More generally, these habitats are among the most fragile environments to safeguard. It is estimated that in the last century the Earth has lost 64% of its wetlands. More than one third of the species linked to aquatic ecosystems are threatened, while three quarters of the marshes and peat bogs and almost half of the lakes, rivers and coasts are at risk of disappearing.

For this reason, one of the most salient points on the agenda of the EU strategy for the protection of biodiversity for 2030 is the need to restore these eco systems where it is possible.