Wetlands are important for a number of reasons. They act like giant sponges holding water thereby preventing flooding. This keeps river and lake levels normal while filtering and purifying surface water.
Wetlands are home to many species of plants and animals. Birds feed and breed in wetlands. Amphibians mate and reproduce in or near wetlands. Wetlands are all connected and are important in terms of health benefits for both wildlife and humans.
Wetlands are havens for all sorts of biodiversity. They also offer sustainable urban drainage solutions while also offers recreational and tourism benefits.
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance aims for the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world.
The Convention defines wetlands as lakes, rivers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands and peatlands, oases, deltas and tidal flats, near-shore marine areas, mangroves and coral reefs, and human made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs, and salt pans.