Message from Martha Rojas Urrego Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on the occasion of the World Migratory Bird Day

Migratory birds are among nature’s strongest connectors. As world travellers they fly thousands of miles across continents: connecting ecosystems, countries and people.

But like many other species, migratory birds are at the cold face of our biodiversity, climate and environmental crises. Wetland loss, environmental degradation and climate impacts are among key pressures on migratory birds: disturbing their flyways and threatening populations.

Healthy wetlands are critical to the survival of 500 billion migratory birds each year. As stop-over sites, wetlands such as salt marshes and mudflats provide birds with water, food and shelter to sustain them on long journeys. In turn, these birds have a key role in maintaining wetlands’ health: contributing to their ecological stability. Since 1970, 35% of global wetlands have been lost and they continue to disappear three times faster than forests: putting thousands of species, including migratory birds at risk.

On Migratory Bird Day this year, its time to redouble our efforts to combat the biodiversity and climate crises: and work together to conserve and restore wetlands: on which these amazing species – and 40% of all global species depend.

Martha Rojas Urrego