World Wetlands Day

Tuesday 02 Feb 2021

World Wetlands Day 2021

Wetlands and Water

This year’s theme shines a spotlight on wetlands as a source of freshwater and encourages actions to restore them and stop their loss.

We are facing a growing freshwater crisis that threatens people and our planet. We use more freshwater than nature can replenish, and we are destroying the ecosystem that water and all life depend on most – Wetlands.

The 2021 campaign highlights the contribution of wetlands to the quantity and quality of freshwater on our planet. Water and wetlands are connected in an inseparable co-existence that is vital to life, our wellbeing and the health of our planet.

World Wetlands Day

February 2nd each year is World Wetlands Day to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and our planet. This day also 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.


Wetlands are land areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains, and swamps. Coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and even coral reefs. Fishponds, rice paddies, and saltpans are human-made wetlands.

Organize a classroom discussion

  • Get students to think about how wetlands naturally help us cope with climate change.

  • Hold a discussion on why wetlands continue to be degraded around the world and what actions are necessary to stop this loss.

  • Organize a quiz about the different types of wetlands. Use the exercise to highlight the other multiple benefits of wetlands to people such as providing water, source of livelihoods.

  • Organize a colouring competition for children.

  • Play our memory game as a family or as a classroom activity.



World Wetlands Day Australia

World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally each year on 2 February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.

Since 1997, World Wetlands Day has been used to:

  • raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits

  • promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Join in on the day. Attend a seminar or festival, help with a revegetation project or go on a bird walk.

Our 2021 edition of Wetlands Australia has a focus on engagement, education or research activities undertaken at our Ramsar sites or local wetlands. It shares the good work being done to value and protect wetlands.

2021 - the 50th Anniversary of the Ramsar Convention

Throughout 2021 we are celebrating 50 years of the Convention.

The 2021 theme is ‘Wetlands and Water’. This highlights the role wetlands play in:

  • clean water

  • water supply

  • ecosystem resilience

  • sustainable livelihoods and jobs

  • biodiversity conservation

  • storm protection

  • carbon storage

  • climate change adaptation

  • health and well-being

  • tourism and recreation

For further details:


Australia was one of the 5 founding nations to sign the Convention. We also designated the world’s first Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar wetland) under the Convention. This was the Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory, in 1974.

Australia continues to play an important role. We help manage and implement the Convention, internationally, in the Oceania and in Australia.

Australia has 66 Ramsar wetlands, covering every state and territory. They cover more than 8.3 million hectares.

Iconic Australian sites include:

  • Kakadu National Park (NT)

  • Roebuck Bay (WA)

  • Gippsland Lakes (Vic)

  • Moreton Bay (Qld)

  • Blue Lake (NSW)

  • Macquarie Marshes (NSW)

  • Coorong (SA)

Worldwide, there are 170 Contracting Parties to the Convention and over 2,400 listed Ramsar wetlands.


Mangrove Awareness

Victoria, Australia

by JAC Photography Art