Today we celebrate the #WorldWetlandsDay and the theme of this year’s commemoration is “It’s time for wetland restoration”. World Wetlands Day has been organised by the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands since 1997 in response to the loss of wetlands globally. Its aim is to raise awareness on the importance and urgency of conserving and restoring wetlands, to stimulate action by sharing good practices and to elaborate on who the key players are and why now is the time for taking concrete action on wetland protection and restoration.
Wetlands are vital for biodiversity, carbon storage, water security, storm and extreme weather event protection, livelihood provision and much more. However, the area they occupy has decreased more than 80% since the 1700s, with 35% lost only since the 1970s, bringing coastal and wetland biodiversity down with them. As such, World Wetlands Day is there to remind us of the vital role they play for our planet, and the urgency of their protection.
Against this background, REST-COAST is proud to contribute to the preservation, and restoration of wetland in coastal areas, helping to secure their existence, ecosystem services and benefits for the future to come. We are aiming to improve coastal initiatives by promoting new tools, financial and governance plans that support large-scale, transformative restoration on European scale and beyond.
Through our nine Pilot Sites, which are wetlands of international importance, REST-COAST demonstrates the urgent need for large-scale restoration actions. The restoration of vulnerable coastal ecosystems, such as wetlands, dunes, or seagrass beds requires the overcoming of technical, economic, governance and social barriers to restoration upscaling. REST-COAST will reinstate the perturbated river-to-coast connectivity and increase the resilience and delivery of coastal ecosystem services, for which the pilot sites will provide ample opportunity under present and future climate scenarios.
Photo: World Wetlands Day 2023, www.worldwetlandsday.org