World Wetlands Day 2010: 'Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change' stresses the fact that caring for wetlands is a part of the solution to climate change with the slogan: 'Caring for wetlands an answer to climate change.'
Wetlands are vulnerable to human-induced climate change but, if managed well, they also play a role in its mitigation. These habitats will also be important in helping humans to adapt to climate change through their critical role in ensuring water and food security.
On 2 February 1971, the 'Ramsar Convention on Wetlands' was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar to provide the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Carrying out this complex and challenging task requires that all bodies involved in implementing the convention have up-to-date and reliable information to understand wetland areas better, complete national inventories, perform monitoring activities, carry out assessments and put appropriate management plans in practice.
In fact, the convention's 159 contracting parties are obliged to report on the state of wetlands for which they are responsible. Today, 1886 wetlands have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance, a total area of over 185 million hectares.
ESA's GlobWetland II project, launched last month, will contribute to the setting up of a Global Wetlands Observing System (G-WOS) in accordance with Ramsar's 2009 strategic plan. GlobWetland II was based on the findings and achievements of its precursor GlobWetland I, which ran from 2003 to 2008 and demonstrated how data from Earth observation satellites can support the inventorying, monitoring and assessing of wetland ecosystems. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Ramsar Convention.
"Earth observation is playing an increasingly important role in the inventory, assessment, monitoring and management of wetlands
|Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto|
European Space Agency