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The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (1971) defines wetlands as " Marshes, fagnes, bogs or natural or artificial waters, permanent or temporary, where the water is stagnant or current, sweet, brackish or salty, including bodies of marine water whose depth at tide Bass does not exceed six meters ».

Little-known and often misunderstood areas, wetlands are the birthplace of countless animal and plant species, and represent invaluable environmental, socio-economic and health interests. The total area of ​​wetlands has not been accurately defined but is estimated at 6% of the planet's surface area.

Wetlands, invaluable and threatened

During the 20th century, more than half of the world's wetlands disappeared. We have seen a collective awareness since the 1990 years for their conservation and "reconstruction", but they are still very much threatened by intensive agriculture (and the use of fertilizers and pesticides), aquaculture, The development of inadequate watercourses, urbanization, soil pollution, the multiplication of transport routes, etc.

And yet, these territories are among the most productive in the world. Most birds, mammals (including humans), reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates depend on them. Not to mention plant species, such as rice that feeds much of the planet!

Thanks to their powerful purification capacity, they can filter pollution, reduce erosion, contribute to the renewal of groundwater, naturally store carbon, protect against floods and droughts. In addition to the value they represent for preserving biodiversity, wetlands are an essential source of income and well-being for many peoples (fishing, hunting, freshwater, tourism, salt production, etc.). ).

Mangrove forests: CO2 wells to preserve!

It is only very recently that the importance of mangroves in the compensation of CO2 planetary has been highlighted. This ecosystem is a large CO2 storer, even more important than boreal, temperate or tropical forests. Deforestation of mangrove forests, which represent less than 1% of the tropical forest area, could contribute to more than 10% of global CO2 emissions from deforestation.

Although reserves of CO2 in other types of tropical forests have been assessed, the amount of CO2 stored in mangrove forests is still largely ignored, although these are present in more than 100 countries. It is therefore urgent to carry out actions of protection and reforestation of mangroves, but also ecological monitoring of these!

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