Lithuania marks World Wetland Day2010-02-02
Lithuania marks World Wetland Day
Lithuania and other member states of the Ramsar Convention have marked the World Wetland Day. The International Convention on Wetlands of International Importance providing for conservation and wise use of natural resources was signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar on 2 February 39 years ago. A total of 153 countries have joined the Ramsar Convention. Lithuania ratified it in 1993.
Wetlands cover 6–7% of Lithuania’s area. Wetlands are characterised by rich biodiversity. They are home to very rare wetland plant and animal species included in the Red Book. There are yet undiscovered species in wetlands as well.
Many wetlands have been destroyed and swamps have dried up as a result of drainage, irrigation and other human activities. More favourable conditions for trees to grow have formed and therefore wetland areas are shrinking every year. Human activities have a destructive effect on rate wetland birds: the Golden Plover, the Wood Sandpiper, the Black Grouse, the Capercailie and the Montagu’s Harrier.
In an effort to restore the affected wetland hydrological regime as well as preserve unique flora and fauna habitats and biodiversity, special nature management works are performed in protected areas of Lithuania. Five sites have been declared Ramsar sites: Čepkeliai, Kamanos, Viešvilė and Žuvintas nature reserves and Nemunas Delta Regional Park. Based on this Convention, Lithuania has proposed to protect 16 more wetlands.
Ministry of Environment information, tel. 266 3660
02 February 2010