New Ramsar wetland for Namibia

Brigitte Weidlich
The Bushmanland Pans, including the Nyae Nyae Pan, has now officially been recognised as Namibia's sixth wetland and Ramsar site.
Wetlands on our planet are of great importance for animals and plants as well as the climate.
Until now, Namibia has five designated wetlands of international importance, commonly known as Ramsar sites. Three of these are along the coast: the Walvis Bay Lagoon, Sandwich Harbour and the Orange River Estuary. Two others lie inland: the Etosha Pan and the Bwabwata-Okavango Ramsar site.
Over the past hundred years, many wetlands have disappeared due to drainage, river straightening, housing construction and climate change.
A few years ago, International Wetlands Day was introduced, which is celebrated annually on 2 February. This year’s theme is “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing.”
A Ramsar site is a wetland that is of international importance according to the Ramsar Convention, an international environmental treaty signed on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, under the auspices of UNESCO. The agreement provides for national measures and international cooperation to protect wetlands. Ramsar identifies wetlands of international importance, particularly those that provide habitat for waterbirds.
The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) announced the good news on 2 February 2024 that another Ramsar wetland will be added. “The Bushmanland Pans, including the Nyae Nyae Pan, are now recognised as Namibia's sixth wetland and Ramsar site,” the MEFT said.
The ministry emphasised that wetlands provide water and food and that healthy, well-vegetated floodplains can also protect people from flooding.
“We need wetlands for our health and wetlands need us to keep them healthy. We must all take an active role in conserving our healthy wetlands and restoring degraded wetlands,” the ministry said.
An event is planned for early March in Opuwo. This is planned as planned, as World Water Day also falls during this period.