Focus On Wetlands

(Published on 2nd February 2017)

Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction is the theme for this years World Wetland Day which takes place today. Healthy wetlands play an essential role in reducing the impacts of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones, helping to build resilience that benefits communities and the landscapes where they live, work and carry out recreational activities.

NZ Landcare Trust is supporting local initiatives such a family fun day organised by the National Wetland Trust that will take place on Saturday 11 February at Lake Rotopiko. Members of the public are invited to come along and join the festivities, which will include the launch of an interactive, self-guided wetland discovery trail. The trail includes stories and hands-on activities for kids to learn about wetlands while having fun. Wetland agencies and organisations will set up displays along with a variety of fun things for kids to do - including face-painting, eels and ladders game, colouring in, and maybe even a water slide. The event will also see the launch of a new cultural wetland handbook created by Landcare Research and designed by NZ Landcare Trust.

Lake Rotopiko is the site of NZ Landcare Trusts Rotopiko Community Pest Control Project. This exciting three year project has seen the establishment of a community group focussed on predator control in the wetland reserve outside a pest-free wetland sanctuary. The aim is to improve the habitat for rare wetland species. This becomes particularly important as their numbers increase and they start to migrate beyond the boundaries of the pest-free area.

World Wetland Day also provides an excellent opportunity to highlight some of the tools and resources that NZ Landcare Trust has previously produced. The 'Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Kit' (WETMAK) provides an excellent framework for quantifying progress on a variety of wetland restoration projects. Aimed at community groups, volunteers and younger people, the resource is divided into a series of simple to use modules designed to demystify the potentially daunting prospect of measuring and documenting progress. For more go to - www.landcare.org.nz/WETMAK

This year the international organisers of World Wetlands Day are running a World Youth Photo Contest, inviting people between the ages of 18 and 25 to submit a wetland related photograph. The prize is a free trip to a wetland of international importance. Details can be found online - www.worldwetlandsday.org/photo-contest

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February, to mark the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

 

 

 

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