23 Jan 2008

Pacific countries gear up for next week's World Wetland Day

12:01 pm on 23 January 2008

A number of Pacific countries are stepping up their preparations for next week's World Wetland Day.

February 2nd will be marked as World Wetlands Day when governments and organisations will raise awareness of the benefits of wetlands.

In the region, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Palau and Samoa have signed the UN convention on wetland conservation, known as Ramsar.

In Fiji, the Live and Learn Environmental Education organisation is visiting schools every year to educate children about the wetlands.

Its coordinator, Doris Ravai, says the rivers, reefs, marches and mangroves provide an important habitat for animals, but are also important for humans.

"Most of our along the coastal areas. The importance really is, we have a lot of schools and communities that are situated along these waterways and wetlands and our students and their families derive income from these wetlands. The resources that these wetlands contain are of great value and importance both for our traditional cultures and for modern use."

Doris Ravai

In Palau, the Ministry of Resources is planning to take school children to the largest fresh water lake in Micronesia, the Lake Ngardok Nature Reserve.