Let's celebrate World Wetlands Day

The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty signed by virtually all countries on the planet to conserve and to wisely use wetlands. The Netherlands has 43 Ramsar sites, but tiny Bonaire alone has 5 protected areas:  Pekelmeer, Gotomeer, Slagbaai, Klein Bonaire and Lac Cai.

To mark the date of the convention in 1971 and to keep working on wetlands awareness, 2nd of February each year is World Wetlands Day. The mangroves of Bonaire are at the heart of the Ramsar site of Lac Cai. The protection and status of this unique area is crucial for it’s survival. Ramsar highlights the essence of our efforts. Like the wetlands, the mangroves must survive, prosper and flourish. And that is why we celebrate this day.

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What wetlands do

Fresh and saltwater wetlands sustain humanity and nature. They support our social and economic development through multiple services:

Store and clean water

  • Wetlands hold and provide most of our fresh water.
  • They naturally filter pollutants, leaving water we can safely drink.

Keep us fed

  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector, while inland fisheries alone provided 12 million tonnes of fish in 2018.
  • Rice paddies feed 3.5 billion people annually.

Underpin our global economy

  • The most valuable ecosystem, provide services worth US $47 trillion a year.
  • More than one billion people rely on wetlands for income.

Provide nature a home

  • 40% of the world’s species live and breed in wetlands. Annually, about 200 new fish species discovered in freshwater wetlands.
  • Coral reefs are home to 25% of all species.

Keep us safe

  • Wetlands provide protection from floods and storms with each acre of wetland absorbing up to 1.5 million gallons of floodwater.
  • Wetlands help regulate the climate: peatlands store twice as much carbon as forests, with saltmarshes, mangroves and seagrass beds also holding vast amounts of carbon.

What are the Ramsar Wetlands of Bonaire?