February 2 is World Wetlands Day. It marks the anniversary of the incredibly important Ramsar Convention on Wetlands signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. Adopted as an official UN Awareness Day in 2021, it is a day to not only celebrate all the amazing things wetlands do for us – but to highlight the challenges they face and, crucially, what we can do to address this.
WWT has a long proud history of undertaking important wetland conservation work on the ground, of moving wetlands up the agenda for politicians and connecting people with wetlands via our sites. But we need to go further than this, and engage new audiences with what wetlands are and why they matter.
Which is why we’re unveiling a large immersive 3D wetland mural in the centre of one of the UK’s largest cities this World Wetlands Day. The 20ft mural, created by artist 3D Joe and Max, depicts a degraded wetland which transforms into thriving wetlands full of wildlife – a vision for the future if everyone supports a Blue Recovery.
Currently only 45% of people in the UK know what a wetland is and this large-scale artwork is designed to help significantly increase the number of people aware of these types of habitat and the challenges they face.
Members of the public can interact with the mural by standing on the jetty, sitting in the boat or snapping a photo as they plant a shoot in the saltmarsh, symbolising the regeneration of wetlands.
The mural is in Cabot Circus in Bristol on Thursday 2 February for World Wetlands Day with guest speakers – including The Urban Birder, City Girl in Nature and Flock Together – sharing what wetlands mean to them and what we can all do to help restore wetlands.
Following the stunt, the mural will go on tour to other locations around the UK, including some sites belonging to Blue Recovery Leaders Group – an inspirational and varied group of industry leaders committed to supporting wetlands, and creating more.
WWT is asking everyone to sign the Wetlands Can pledge this World Wetlands Day to help us campaign for 100,000 more hectares of wetlands in the UK. If you’ve already signed, please do share with your networks. There’s a downloadable social media toolkit on the WWT website with assets for sharing to your social media channels. See here.
Laura Williams is Campaigns Manager for Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
The opinions expressed in this blog are the authors' and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership.
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