Wetlands for our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods is the theme for World Wetlands Day in 2016. The Department of Environment & Maritime Affairs (DEMA), in collaboration with the Turks & Caicos National Trust and the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund (TCRF) will be highlighting the vital role of wetlands for the future of humanity.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
“DEMA, and its partners, hope to educate the community at large about the importance of wetlands to our Islands’ ecosystems as a whole. Wetlands are often neglected, or worse: filled for building, however these sites are very diverse providing habitats for marine and terrestrial fauna as well as important floral species. If we understand this, conservation of our wetlands would come automatically,” said Amy Avenant (DEMA Environmental Outreach Coordinator).
Recently a number of mangrove seedlings were removed from Wheeland pond after a school planting. On February 2nd Students from the Clement Howell High School will be assisting DEMA and the National Trust by replanting mangroves in the area.
Youth between the ages of 15 and 24 are encouraged to participate in the International World Wetlands Day Photo Contest. The contest will run from 2 February to 2 March, 2016. The winner will win a free flight to a famous wetland of their choice courtesy of Star Alliance Biosphere Connections, and other prizes will be given to runners up. To enter the competition Young people are invited to take a photo that shows “people making a living from wetlands” Upload up to 3 photos on the World Wetlands Day website www.worldwetlandsday.org Other members of the public can participate by voting for their favourite photo and help contribute to the selection process.
DEMA and the National Trust would also like to invite members of public to join them for a brief walk-through of Wheeland Pond, on Providenciales, on Saturday 6 February 2016. The walk will begin at 08:00 am sharp. Come along and learn why wetlands are important!