This year on World Wetlands Day, the Netherlands joins the global community in celebrating these vital ecosystems and their immense contributions to our planet's health and well-being. Nestled among our coastal landscapes, wetlands are not just picturesque landscapes; they are nature's sponges, filtering pollutants and storing excess water during floods, while releasing it during droughts. They are havens for biodiversity, teeming with life from the tiniest insects to the majestic cranes.
Wetlands play a crucial role in regulating our climate, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They are natural flood defenses, protecting communities from the devastating impacts of extreme weather events. And they are sources of freshwater, providing essential drinking water and irrigation for agriculture.
As a country with a long and proud history of wetland management, the Netherlands recognises the immense value of these ecosystems. We have transformed our vast estuaries and inland lakes into productive agricultural lands, while taking care to protect their natural functions and biodiversity.
However, threats to wetlands persist. Conversion to agricultural land, pollution, and climate change are all putting a strain on these precious ecosystems. We must act now to safeguard our wetlands for future generations.
Inspired by this shared commitment to wetland protection, the Netherlands is proud to put the spotlight on Both ENDS, an international NGO dedicated to environmental justice and sustainable development. Both ENDS leads a transnational, multi-year and multi-partner programme to protect the La Plata Basin wetlands in South America, one of the world's largest and most important wetland ecosystems. Learn more about the programme here.
They're fostering a global movement to protect wetlands, recognising the interconnectedness and the far-reaching benefits they provide to our planet. Visit Both ENDS' website to learn more about their work and how you can get involved in protecting wetlands worldwide. Let us pledge to cherish our wetlands as the natural treasures they are and ensure their enduring legacy for all.
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