Wetlands, biodiversity treasures and lungs of cities | WWF

Wetlands, biodiversity treasures and lungs of cities

Posted on 07 February 2018    
Mangroves of Ambaro Bay
© WWF Madagascar
When cities grow, wetlands disappear... Increasing urbanization has a negative impact on the rivers, canals and lakes of our cities in Madagascar. Faced with this situation, World Wetlands Day, celebrated on 2 February, wanted to promote the importance of wetlands "for a sustainable urban future".

Wetlands, such as rivers, rice paddies, ponds, lakes or marshes, allow rainwater storage for human needs and are the preferred locations of many species of plants and animals.

The Ramsar Convention for the Wetlands of International Importance  regulates wetlands that are included on its list of sites.

In 2017 alone the Ramsar Convention recognized ten new wetlands of international importance in Madagascar, thanks to WWF’s technical support. Madagascar now has a total of 20 Ramsar sites. So this year, the global celebration of wetlands has benefited the capital through an exhibition held in the garden of Antaninarenina to raise wetlands awareness. The celebration also has provided capacity building for Ramsar site managers through the launch of a new national guide for managing these wetlands.

Thus, a significant celebration has colored the city of Belo on Tsiribihina, located north of Morondava. Nearly 2,000 people gathered to celebrate the integration of the Tsiribihina River mangroves and the Ambondrombe wetland on the Ramsar List in May 2017.

Together with its partners and local authorities, WWF set up a podium, organized a conference and a live broadcast on national radio to discuss the benefits of wetlands.

Without the existence of wetlands such as the Tsiribihina mangroves for example, many species of fish, mollusks and crustaceans can not reproduce succesfull. These mangroves are the main source of income for the small-scale fishers of Menabe, but they face many pressures and threats. This is the challenge of mangrove conservation in Manambolo-Tsiribihina which has an approach that integrates local populations’ aspirations and to ensure the sustainable development of nature and people.
 
Mangroves of Ambaro Bay
© WWF Madagascar Enlarge
Presentation of RAMSAR certificates for Onilahy wetlands, Tsiribihina mangroves and Barren Islands
© WWF Madagascar Enlarge
A kingfisher in the wetlands of Ambondrobe
© WWF Madagascar Enlarge
Celebration at Belo Tsiribihina
© WWF Madagascar Enlarge

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