World Wetlands Day 2022

Trip Report: Lake Belvedere at Bicentennial Park, Sydney

Brian Everingham, President, NPA Southern Sydney Branch

On World Wetlands Day it seemed appropriate that the entire morning in the field was spent under umbrellas, warding off the misty rain and peering through the haze. Even more appropriately, given the amount of rain that has fallen over NSW this summer, many of the birds we would expect to see here had decided to go elsewhere. Well, why not! For example, the Red-necked Avocets were nowhere to be seen!

Creating even more difficulties for anyone wanting to build up a bird list was the very high tide and the large amount of normal water within the lagoons. There were no mudflats to speak of and what waders there were would disappear into the vegetation.

That said, it is worthwhile celebrating this day! Wetlands are important. As the Hindustan Times says (February 2nd, 2022), “Wetlands are ecosystems where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life. They are very crucial for humans as well as planet Earth.1

World Wetlands Day is observed on February 2 every year to raise global awareness about the importance of wetlands, not only for people but the planet Earth as well. The day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971. That occurred in the town of Ramsar in Iran!

This is the first year when the World Wetlands Day is being observed as a United Nations international day, following its adoption by the UN General Assembly on August 30, 2021.

The theme for this year’s celebration of World Wetlands Day is Wetlands Action for People and Nature. It is an appeal to all segments of society to save the wetlands from disappearing and to restore the degraded ones. The campaign highlights the need to invest capital, political and civil support to protect the wetlands.

And as is the practice within the Southern Sydney Branch of NPA, of course we headed into the field to celebrate! Who cares about the rain!


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