The wonder of wetlands
Where Earth and water meet...
Wetlands vary enormously in size and character. They can range from a small neighbourhood pond to lakes, bogs, marshes, rivers, and desert oases, all the way to the vast, 10 million hectare Canadian Arctic bays, the huge peat bogs of Western Siberia, or the largest wetland in the world, the Pantanal in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay - covering an area 3 times the size of Ireland.
Big or small, north or south, the function of wetlands is much the same: they provide humans with fuel, food, recreation and employment; they support an immense variety of wildlife that would otherwise become extinct; and they protect millions of people from the disastrous consequences of flooding.
Between 300 and 400 million people live close to - and depend on - wetlands. The world simply cannot do without them.