In Cambodia, the 2019 World Wetlands Day was celebrated on February 2 in Boeung Prek Lapov Protected Area Landscape in Takeo Province. WWD was organized by the Department of Freshwater and Wetlands Conservation of the Ministry of Environment, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Birdlife International and IUCN with over 350 participants.
WWD is celebrated every year on February 2 to raise global awareness on the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet. This year's theme was Wetlands and Climate Change and activities included flooded forest planting, children’s painting and poetry competitions and theater.
Wetlands are essential to help tackle climate change and safeguard biodiversity. Not only providing social and economic services, wetlands play a key role in protecting us from droughts floods, and other extreme weather events.
In his opening speech H.E. Tea Chup, Under Secretary of State of MOE, recalled that historically human settlements have always been located near wetlands to ensure a supply of water, foods, fuel, and other goods, just as Boeung Prek Lapov sustains local fishers and famers and provides roosting habitat for the iconic Sarus crane.
H.E. Moeung Vuthy, Takeo Provincial Deputy Governor, said that WWD is not only to a chance to disseminate knowledge about the values of wetlands, but also to strengthen the governance of wetlands involving local government, civil society, private sector, development partners, and local communities.
IUCN is a strong supporter of WWD globally, said IUCN’s Sorn Pheakdey. He called for all stakeholders to participate in wetlands management through restoration and conservation. IUCN will collaborate with the government and other partners to implement the Indo-Burma Ramsar Regional Initiative 2019-2024, which supports the effective implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.