Ducks Unlimited Canada celebrates World Wetlands Day and its 85th anniversary with ambitious conservation goal
February 1, 2023 – Oak Hammock Marsh, Man. – To recognize World Wetlands Day—a global celebration aimed at raising awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and the natural environment—Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is committing to an ambitious goal to conserve, restore and influence more than 15 million acres of natural habitat across Canada this year.
DUC’s endeavour comes at a significant point in history. Not only is the organization celebrating its 85th anniversary, but the Government of Canada’s recent pledge to conserve and restore 30 per cent of its lands and waters by 2030 will make DUC’s conservation contributions part of an unprecedented investment in nature and biodiversity.
A proven and passionate steward of Canada’s wetlands, DUC’s cumulative conservation footprint now spans 234.3 million acres of habitat since its inception in 1938. With a theme of wetland restoration, this year’s World Wetlands Day underscores the importance of DUC’s mission as it continues to grow its landscape-level impact with one of its largest annual goals to date.
Wetlands act as a natural defence system for drought, floods and climate change. Conserving these key areas is critical not only for sustaining waterfowl populations, but research shows wetlands also deliver a host of other benefits including providing homes for up to 40 per cent of the world’s wildlife species, improving water quality, enhancing biodiversity, trapping and storing carbon, and acting as recreation destinations for communities. World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on February 2.
“As we celebrate both World Wetlands Day and our 85th anniversary, it’s important to reflect on the impact these ecosystems have on our environment, our communities and our way of life,” says Roger d’Eschambault, president of DUC’s national volunteer board of directors. “For 85 years, DUC has been a leader in wetland conservation and restoration, delivering innovative, nature-based solutions that safeguard our most vulnerable and valuable landscapes. But we know we need to do more – as the needs of a growing population have taken a toll on our natural spaces, we have the solutions to enact positive change.”
With an estimated 80 acres of wetlands in Canada lost every day, it is more important than ever to recognize the vital role of these ecosystems to the natural environment.
“Wetlands can provide natural solutions to some of the most pressing environmental issues we face today,” says d’Eschambault. “It is imperative that we all work together to preserve and protect these areas to help us solve the conservation challenges of tomorrow – for people and for nature.”
Achieving this ambitious goal will only be possible with support from a variety of partners – from business and industry to communities and individuals. Based on a long-standing history together, DUC’s conservation partners play a critical role in delivering on a mutual vision of healthy wetlands and clean water for waterfowl, wildlife and people.
About Ducks Unlimited Canada: Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations, Indigenous Peoples and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. To learn more about DUC’s innovative environmental solutions and services, visit www.ducks.ca
About World Wetlands Day: February 2nd marks the adoption of the Convention of Wetlands, which took place in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. It’s a treaty negotiated by countries and non-governmental organizations that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Canada is one of the treaty’s contracting parties and currently has 37 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites).
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