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🗞️ Driving the news: Wetlands, covering only 6% of the Earth's land but home to 40% of its biodiversity, are crucial ecosystems that function as the world's carbon sinks, biodiversity hotspots, and natural water purifiers
• Despite their vital roles, they are disappearing at an alarming rate, three times faster than forests, due to human activities like agriculture and construction
🔭 The context: Wetlands range from bogs and marshes to swamps and mangrove forests, existing on every continent except Antarctica. These ecosystems are recognized for their high productivity, supporting a diverse range of plant and animal species
• Historically overlooked and undervalued, wetlands are now acknowledged for their capacity to store vast amounts of carbon and filter pollutants, earning them the nickname "the world's kidneys."
🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Wetlands play a significant role in climate regulation by absorbing millions of tons of carbon dioxide annually. They hold about a third of the world's carbon in their vegetation, soil, sediment, and peat
• The destruction of wetlands not only leads to loss of biodiversity but also turns them into sources of greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change.
⏭️ What's next: The conservation and restoration of wetlands have become pivotal in global efforts to combat climate change and protect biodiversity
• Initiatives to restore wetlands are underway in countries like Argentina and Indonesia, and nearly 70% of nations have included wetlands in their national climate commitments
• This global recognition underscores the importance of wetlands in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and supporting human well-being.
💬 One quote: "Wetlands are so important to supporting human well-being and life on earth that they should even be granted legal rights," some scientists argue, highlighting the critical need to protect these ecosystems.
📈 One stat: Wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests, with a third of all wetland areas lost in the last fifty years
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