World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Pacific Wetlands take Care of Water

Pacific Wetlands take Care of Water

World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2013

“It’s all too easy to take the availability of safe drinking water for granted and, for some, it is not until we are without that we fully realise the vital role that water plays in our lives.

In the Pacific Islands, our wetlands take care of water.

Wetlands such as rivers, lakes, water catchments and underground aquifers play an important part in supplying water to our communities in the Pacific. We could describe our wetlands as the natural infrastructure for managing water as they store and provide the water for which our human consumption and production needs are met.

This World Wetlands Day on 2 February, it is time to reflect upon the importance of wetlands and their role in water management and thus, in our lives. It is time also to take stock of what we can do as individuals to strengthen the health and resilience of Pacific Wetlands so that they can continue to provide water for us all.

In Samoa, Lake Lanoto’o, designated a “Wetland of International Importance”, is the largest permanent freshwater lake in Samoa. It has a valuable ecological role in maintaining the health of the water supply of the capital city, Apia. The main catchment and sub-catchments of Lake Lanoto’o are tapped to meet the increasing demand for drinking water and for hydro electricity generation.

Unfortunately, unsustainable land use practices in and around wetlands of some high lands have led to decreased water quality and runoff that adversely affects important coastal marine ecosystems and species that are important for both commercial and subsistence purposes.

River catchments of the Pacific Islands region are also under increasing pressure from conversion for agriculture, diversion or modification for water supply or hydropower generation, commercial logging, catchment alteration, pollution and invasive species.

At the national level, there is often a lack of knowledge and relevant strategies for the management and wise use of these wetland ecosystems. Furthermore, local communities are often unaware of the likely impacts of proposed changes to these wetlands.

Without wetlands there would be no water. When we protect our natural wetlands we are preventing them from being degraded or lost as they provide sufficient supply and quality of water to satisfy all of our needs.

The Pacific Islands are implementing the Regional Wetlands Action Plan for the Pacific Islands 2011-2013 which aims to protect and conserve wetlands so that they continue to provide their valuable ecosystem services for Pacific peoples, one of which is water storage and provision.

The Upper Navua Conservation Area, a “Wetland of International Importance” for Fiji, encompasses the upper part of the Navua River, which is the third largest freshwater drainage of Fiji. It plays a significant role in the ecological health of the entire drainage and provides the necessary supplies and food for the communities in the area. It also provides a wide range of ecosystem services to the entire water catchment area including flood control for lower areas.

In our communities our wetlands take care of water, so let’s:

• STOP disposing rubbish and other wastes in our rivers and streams or report those doing this to your local Environment department.
• ORGANISE a clean-up activity for your rivers and associated streams.
• SPREAD the word to both young and old about the important role wetlands play and the need for their protection.

Remember this and take on the role of protecting our wetlands in whatever way you can as natural solutions provide a resilient Pacific.

Happy World Wetlands Day.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gaza.Scoop: Another Israeli Attack On A Hospital

Israeli tanks attacked Al Aqsa hospital in Deir Al Balah, killing five patients and doctors, and injuring more than 70. More>>

ALSO:

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>

Papua New Guinea: Indonesian Troops Fire On PNG Soldiers Along Border

Indonesian troops have opened fire on a PNG Defence Force border patrol, increasing further tension at the Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border. The flare-up at the border compelled the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration to summon the Indonesian ... More>>

World News: Internet Well On Way To 3 Billion Users - UN Telecom Agency

Releasing new statistics today, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced that by end 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users – two-thirds of them from the developing world – with mobile-broadband ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news