Wetlands occur wherever water meets land.
These unique habitats include mangroves, peatlands and marshes, rivers and lakes, deltas, floodplains and flooded forests, rice-fields, and even coral reefs. Wetlands exist in every country and in every climatic zone, from the polar regions to the tropics, and from high altitudes to dry regions.
Healthy wetlands store carbon and water, reduce emissions, support 40% of biodiversity and provide for life.
But, between 1900-2000, the world lost almost two-thirds of its wetlands due to drainage, conversion for agriculture, urbanisation and infrastructure such as dams, dykes, harbours and ports. And loss continues. This drives biodiversity loss, water and food shortages, devastating floods and fires, coastal subsidence and erosion. It puts the most vulnerable communities at risk of water-related disasters, exacerbated by climate change.
Read on to find out more about the different types of wetlands and why they are invaluable to society.