The theme for World Wetlands Day in 2021 is water conservation. It is estimated that we will require 55% more water by 2050 for the increased population, around 10 billion people. Wetlands are home to some of the richest biodiversity on the planet and the ecosystem services they provide play an essential role in sustainable development impacting directly the lives of millions of people worldwide, most especially the poor, who depend on the essential ecosystem services wetlands provide. According to www.wwt.org.uk, if rainforests are the lungs of the planet, then wetlands are the lifeblood. We need air to breathe and water to live.
How does this affect travel? By visiting these areas, but respecting the environment – tourists can support local economies and in some cases, helping to restore the wetlands.
Wetlands are found in most countries, including the UK. Great holidays for wildlife lovers, in particular bird-watchers. Depending on the area, you can often go horse-riding.
Here’s a selection of the biggest and most well-known wetlands. You can find wetlands in the south of France in the Camargue. In Asia, there are wetlands in the Mekong Delta, Kerala in India, the Sundarbans in Bangladesh and in Indonesia. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is located in South Africa and is perfect to combine with a safari in the Kruger National Park. The Okavango Delta in Botswana is famous for its variety of wildlife (including elephants, hippos, giraffes, lion, cheetah, rhinos and zebra). Kakadu National Park is in the Norhtern Territory in Australia – home to crocodiles and many other wildlife. The Everglades in Florida are well-known to British travellers, take an airboat ride across the waters. The Pantanal in Brazil is the world’s largest wetland, lying mainly in Brazil but also stretching into Bolivia and Paraguay.
To mark World Wetlands Day, which one of the these would you like to explore?