OTTAWA, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the
Environment, issued the following statement on World Wetlands Day 2013.
"Each year on February 2nd, countries around the world celebrate World Wetlands Day, marking the
date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands of International
Importance, also known as the Ramsar Convention. On this important day,
I would like to thank our many partners and recognize our achievements
in the conservation of wetlands across Canada. Today, Canada is home to
37 designated Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar
Convention—covering an area of almost 131,000 km2.
"The theme for World Wetlands Day 2013 is Wetlands and Water Management,
which brings attention to the interdependence of water and wetlands.
Wetlands represent one of the most important life support systems in
our natural environment. Acting as nature's ‛kidneys‛, wetlands filter
millions of litres of water every day, retain more fresh water than any
other place in the world, and act as sponges to help control flooding.
"The Government of Canada continues to make conservation of wetlands a
priority through a number of initiatives including: over seven million
hectares of wetlands secured for waterfowl and wildlife under the North
American Waterfowl Management Plan; 16 Canadian Ramsar sites with
protected areas status as part of Environment Canada's network of
National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries; and the
long-term protection of 339, 600 hectares of ecologically sensitive
land across Canada under the Natural Areas Conservation Program.
"The Government of Canada also provides funding through various programs
to protect and conserve our natural environment, such as the Habitat
Stewardship Program, the EcoAction Community Funding Program, and the
Environmental Damages Fund. For example, since its inception, the
Habitat Stewardship Program has provided more than $124M to support
over 2100 projects to conserve and protect species at risk and their
"We are actively working with our partners to continue to protect
wetlands across Canada. The Government's establishment of the Hunting
and Angling Advisory Panel in 2012 will help to ensure that government
decisions around Canada's fish and wildlife habitats are based on
inclusive, broad-based advice. By working together, we can better
restore and conserve Canada's wetlands."
For more information on Environment Canada's programs and on the Ramsar
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, please visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/habitat/default.asp?lang=En&n=7127734D-1.
SOURCE: Environment Canada