In Antigua, when we think of wetlands we think of swamps: nasty, smelly, waterlogged places riddled with wicked mosquitoes and starving sandflies. Why, oh why would we want to spend precious life moments at a swamp?! There is some truth to these thoughts but wetlands are arguably more vital than most of us may comprehend.
On 2nd February, 1971, understanding the importance of wetlands to human life and well-being, an international treaty was signed in Ramsar, Iran, called the Ramsar Convention or Convention on Wetlands. Annually on 2nd February, since 1997, countries promote the indispensability of wetlands. Here, as we struggle to balance development and frugal use of our natural resources, as we begin to understand how these wetlands support our economy and health, this celebration is necessary. This year’s theme is aptly dubbed “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”.