On February 2, 2021 is World Wetlands Day. The theme for this year is wetlands and water.
South Africa is a water scarce country, so incorporating an awareness among our students and inspring them to be water-wise is beneficial to use all.
Did you know that Johannesburg and Birmingham are the only cities not built on a major waterway such as a large river, harbour or bay?
(South African History Online; Davie, 2018)
There are many streams in Johannesburg, such as a Klipspruit River, Juskei River or Braamfontein Spruit.
Incorporate water awareness into lessons by linking the information to real life scenarios about the value of water to sustainability, preservation of natural wetlands and water conservation.
World Wetlands Day is celebrating it's 50th year of existence this year (1971-2021).
The World Wetlands Day was adopted at the Convention on Wetlands, in the city of Ramsar, Iran on the shores of the Caspian Sea, on 2 February 1971.
South Africa signed the Ramsar Convention in 1971. The membership was formalised in 1975 when South Africa ratified the Convention, and became the fifth contracting party. (GDE; Ramsar).
Since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat has provided materials to help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands. Explore resources such as the Global Wetlands Outlook, the World Wetlands Day website and the Ramsar Library
Create an awareness of water usage and where the students live.
If they live in towns and cities begin by discussing urban wetlands and how they contribute to cities being sustainable.
Urban wetlands provide benefits such as water supply, waste-water treatment, green spaces for relaxation and enjoyment, job opportunities and even flood control.
What about a wetlands clean-up drive?
Go to local wetland or stream to collect litter. Write a report about the impact they found litter had on the water flow. These reports could be sent to local newspapers.
Conduct water analysis testing
Identify food chains when out on the waters' edge.
What about creating an awareness by inviting a guest speaker or encouraging students to research further?
representative discusses water analysis and the importance of being aware of water quality.
Researching information about wetlands and the importance to sustainability. Sourcing relevant information for the age-group of the students you teach
Incorporate information about wetlands into lessons such as the water cycle, food chains or other topics you can think of:
What about encouraging your class or school to tell their World Wetlands Day story here?
It is our responsibilty as teachers to create an awareness of the world around us.
Promote World Wetlands Day and the importance of Water
Ramsar. Convention of Wetlands, Ramsar. https://www.ramsar.org/
South African Government. World Wetlands Day 2020 https://www.gov.za/WorldWetlandsDay2020
World Wetlands Day https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/
South African History Online, Johannesburg https://www.sahistory.org.za/place/johannesburg#:~:text=The%20City%20covers%20an%20Area,(Bay%20or%20large%20River).
Davie, L. (2018). Water, Water everywhere, Johannesburg's streams and rivers. The Heritage Portal http://www.theheritageportal.co.za/article/water-water-everywhere-johannesburgs-streams-and-rivers
NASA, Precipitation Education https://gpm.nasa.gov/education/videos/water-cycle-animation