Photo credit: North Pennines AONB, LIFE UAV
Vegetated wetlands, such as swamps and marshes, are some of the most wildlife-rich ecosystems on the planet, their shallow waters and abundant plant life supporting everything from insects to ducks to moose.
But these wetlands, as well as lakes, rivers and other watery environments around the world, are in peril, with many polluted or degraded as a result of climate change and human development.
In recent months, though, governments have stepped up their efforts to protect and restore these natural spaces, a drive experts say is not only crucial for protecting biodiversity, but also countering the climate crisis.
A November 2022 meeting of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands raised the profile of wetlands and their crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, humanity’s blueprint for a better future.
The following month at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, countries reached a landmark agreement to protect nature, a deal that included a provision to restore at least 30 per cent of degraded inland water bodies and conserve healthy freshwater ecosystems in an equitable way.