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What are wetlands?

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Deutsche Welle or enjoy below:

🗞️ 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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