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|World Wetlands Day focuses on climate change
World Wetlands Day 2010: 'Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change' stresses the fact that caring for wetlands is a part of the solution to climate change with the slogan: 'Caring for wetlands – an answer to climate change.
Wetlands are vulnerable to human-induced climate change but, if managed well, they also play a role in its mitigation. These habitats will also be important in helping humans to adapt to climate change through their critical role in ensuring water and food security.
On 2 February 1971, the 'Ramsar Convention on Wetlands' was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar to provide the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
ESA’s GlobWetland II project, launched last month, will contribute to the setting up of a Global Wetlands Observing System (G-WOS) in accordance with Ramsar’s 2009–15 strategic plan. GlobWetland II was based on the findings and achievements of its precursor GlobWetland I, which ran from 2003 to 2008 and demonstrated how data from Earth observation satellites can support the inventorying, monitoring and assessing of wetland ecosystems. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Ramsar Convention.
GlobWetland II aims to develop a G-WOS pilot information system to produce a number of wetland-related geo-information maps and indicators over 200 wetland sites and surrounding areas for different points in time. The geographical regions covered will be the coastal catchment areas of the southern and eastern part of the Mediterranean basin, extending from Morocco to Turkey.
At the end of the two-year project, the GlobWetland II information system will be installed at a number of partner organisations and supporting agencies to help them fulfil their reporting obligation to Ramsar and to manage better their wetlands.