The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands' theme for World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2008, was Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People, which was also the theme for the Convention's 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in October-November 2008 in the Republic of Korea.
We took the opportunity to introduce a few key topics that exemplify both the direct, positive effects on human health of maintaining healthy wetlands - such as the provision of food, clean water and pharmaceutical products - and the direct negative effects of mismanaging wetlands that result in the impairment of our health and even the loss of life, for example through the effects of water-related diseases, burning peatlands, floods, and water pollution.
The strong relationship between healthy functioning wetland ecosystems and human health underlines the importance of management strategies that support both the health of wetland ecosystems and the health of humans. And the costs of poor management can be high: wetland-related diseases, for example, claim the lives of more than 3 million people every year and bring suffering to many more.
World Wetlands Day Reports
View World Wetlands Day 2008 reports from Contracting Parties.