OPINION: The Future of Wetlands, the Future of Waterbirds – an Intercontinental Connection
31 / 01 / 2015, IPS News Environment
The first global treaty dealing with biodiversity was the Ramsar Convention – predating the Rio processes by 20 years.Ramsar aims to conserve wetlands, the usefulness of which has been undervalued – even the eminent French naturalist of the 18th century, the Comte de Buffon, advocated their destruction – and which have suffered large losses in recent decades. Wetlands are vital for birds – and especially waterbirds – but it is also the case that the birds are vital to the wetlands, playing a major role in maintaining nature’s balance. Far from being wastelands, wetlands provide invaluable services, replenishing aquifers that supply drinking water and filtering out harmful pollutants. By maintaining a healthy environment, wetlands help ensure human well-being.