The Ministry of Environment announced on Monday that it will organise through the Nature Conservation Sector some events as part of the celebrations of World Wetlands Day, which the world celebrates annually on 2 February.
The date corresponds to the adoption of the International Convention on Wetlands Conservation, which was signed in 1971 in the city of Ramsar, Iran with the aim of protecting water birds and their environments.
This year’s celebration holds the slogan ‘Wetlands action for the people and nature.’ The ministry organises a number of activities in the Egyptian protected areas declared as global “Ramsar sites” or other wetlands in order to promote them and highlight their importance and value to the environment and people and their role in protecting biological diversity.
Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad explained that the environmental importance of wetlands is that they are transitional regions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
This unique ecosystem performs many functions for the service of humans, such as water purification and high production of food, including fish and some marine species.
Additionally, wetlands are important for their biological and genetic richness, represented in marine and plant organisms and livestock — especially birds — as well as wetland products in high-productivity ecosystems, such as mangroves and seagrass, which are breeding grounds for fish. They also serve as groundwater aquifers and storage for freshwater.
Wetlands are qualified to be classified as reservoirs for biological diversity, as they contain 40% of the total species in the world. Beach wetlands are of particular importance in the life of migratory birds, as they are a habitat for many animal species in droughts and other environmental hazards, such as floods, torrents and climate change, according to the minister’s statement.
The minister further explained that Egypt has four locations classified as global Ramsar regions — Zaranik, Burullus, Qarun Lake, and Wadi Al-Rayan.