Wetlands for a sustainable urban future
Prior to World Wetlands Day 2018, a promotional online campaign targeting followers of our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) was done to engage and raise awareness on the need to conserve wetlands for sustainable development.
On the day of the celebration, 2nd February 2018, a clean-up exercise was organised along the Songor Ramsar and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a costal wetland of international significance situated in Ada-Foah, Greater Accra Region. Two local communities located along the shores, Ayigbo and Lolouyakope came out in their numbers to clear the beaches of plastics and other solid wastes as a way to help maintain the vital ecosystem services that the wetland provides. Key institutions that actively participated were members of the District Assembly, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS).
Basic pupils and teachers from the Ada-Foah Roman Catholic School converged at the Marine Turtle Hatchery and Conservation Centre located at about 100m away from the shore to receive education and awareness on the essentials of urban wetlands for sustainable future and the need to celebrate and conserve these jewels of nature. This was led by Ms Louisa Kabobah of GWS. Mr Dickson Agyeman of Wildlife Division took the children through the various life stages of marine turtles, the rescue procedures and practices at the turtle hatchery. Flyers on 2018 WWD were distributed among the pupils and teachers to increase their knowledge on wetlands.
Every year on 2 February, people and nations across the globe celebrate World Wetlands Day, to raise global awareness about the important role of wetlands for people and the planet. This year’s theme “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future,” highlights the important role of wetlands for sustainable urbanization.
During storms, urban wetlands absorb excess rainfall, which reduces flooding in cities and prevents disasters and their subsequent costs. The abundant vegetation found in urban wetlands, acts as a filter for domestic and industrial waste and this contributes to improving water quality and make cities liveable.
We encourage cities to adopt policies and actions which will help to conserve urban wetlands. There are already successful examples of cities that have committed to sustainably use their wetlands and Ghana can do the same.
Let us commit to making our cities liveable by taking actions today to retain, restore and preserve urban wetlands.
Happy belated World Wetlands Day 2018!