The international theme of World Wetlands Day this year (2014) is “Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth”.
For millennia, wetlands have been used directly for agriculture and for supplying food, fuel and fibre to support lives and livelihoods.
Wetlands continue to play an essential role in supporting modern agriculture. They provide water storage, flood buffering, nutrient removal, water purification and erosion control. Sustainable practices which support both agriculture and healthy wetlands are therefore coming to the fore.
Australia was one of the first countries to sign the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (more commonly known as the Ramsar Convention), and in 1974 designated the world’s first Ramsar site at Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory. They beat
us by two years.
New Zealand became a party to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in December 1976 and has listed six sites covering almost 55,112 hectares in the List of Wetlands of International Importance.