© Svilen Cheshmedziev

On February 2, we celebrate World Wetlands Day. The reason – to direct attention and care to these valuable natural habitats, which are disappearing three times faster than forests.

In addition to being an invaluable source of water, wetlands perform a number of other indispensable functions – groundwater enrichment, storm protection, flood reduction, shoreline conservation, soil erosion control, and the retention of carbon, nutrients, sediments, and pollutants.

©  Ирина Матеева

© Irina Mateeva

Nearly 90% of the world’s wetlands have been degraded since the 1700s. They are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, world economies, and more.

In Bulgaria, the Day has been celebrated for 26 years. On Thursday – February 2nd, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPS) will broadcast several videos from wetlands in the country on its Facebook and YouTube pages – from Shablenska Tuzla, from Shablensko Lake and from the Mandra-Poda protected area “.

From 14:00, a Facebook online event will broadcast a presentation on “Wetlands and their restoration”, presented by Dr. Nikolay Petkov – one of the best experts on waterfowl and their habitats. He will introduce us to the principles of restoring wetlands, presenting examples from the country and the world, as well as the work of BSPB on the protection and restoration of these valuable habitats.

Сива гъска, © Светослав Спасов

© Svetoslav Spasov

On February 1st, we will celebrate Wetlands Day with a visit to the Montessori school “Secret Garden” in Plovdiv, together with RIEW – Plovdiv, paying special attention to the Maritsa River and its rich biodiversity.

The World Wetlands Day awareness campaign is organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands. Contracting Parties of the Convention on Wetlands have been celebrating World Wetlands Day since 1997, when it was first established.

BSPB carries out a number of activities for the protection of key wetlands for birds along the Danube River within the LIFE projects “Pelican Way of LIFE“, “LIFE Danube Free Sky” and “LIFE for Safe Flight“.