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World Wetlands Day

2 February @ 12:00 am 11:59 pm AEDT

In 2021 World Wetlands Day marks the 50th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention. Get more information about World Wetlands Day and a range of resources on how the Convention protects wetlands here.

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, is called the Ramsar Convention, after the Iranian city where the Convention was adopted in 1971. It is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It came into force in 1975. Find out more about the Ramsar Convention here.

Coral reefs are among the wetland types covered by the Convention. In 2004, the Catholic Bishops of Queensland issued a pastoral letter ‘Let the Many Coastlands Be Glad!’ on the need to care for the Great Barrier Reef.

In safeguarding the integrity of the waters of the Pacific and the Great Barrier Reef, we are in a profound sense, honouring and sharing in the life of the risen Christ. As St Paul taught us, ‘So he who came down is the same one who went up, above and beyond the heavens, to fill the whole universe with his presence’ (Ephesians 4.10). This is the very same ‘presence’ that today fills the universe and lovingly graces, impregnates, stimulates and sustains the sparkling bluegreen waters and gloriously coloured coral necklace of Queensland’s eastern coastline we call, ‘the Reef’. It should be understood, that to do wilful harm to the integrity of the Great Barrier Reef is to diminish the image of Christ which is radiated to us through our world.

Queensland Catholic Bishops, Let the Many Coastlands be Glad, 2004.