Sri Lanka

Vital role of wetlands in battle against climate change

Feb 2, 2017
Today is World Wetland’s Day with this year’s theme being Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction.  A wetland or marshland as we know it in Sri Lanka, is a land area saturated with water, permanently or seasonally. Thus it becomes an important ecosystem. The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Environment scientists say wetlands play several roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life.   
World Wetlands Day is celebrated on February 2 every year to mark the 1971 adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian City of Ramsar. The aim is to raise awareness and highlight the vital roles of healthy wetlands in reducing the impact of extreme events such as floods, droughts and cyclones on communities and in helping to build resilience.   
Environmental scientists say coastal wetlands act as a natural protective buffer and thus it is important for Sri Lanka. Inland wetlands act as a natural sponge, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flooding. During the dry season, they release the stored water, delaying the onset of droughts and reducing water shortages.   
Read more at:

Daily Mirror, February 2, 2017

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