World Wetlands Day – 2 February

Hybrid Event, 02/02/2024

Friday, 2 February 2024 (12:00 – 13:30 CET)
Sheikh Zayed Centre, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy, and online

The World Wetlands Day, celebrated on 2 February, raises global awareness about the importance of wetlands for human prosperity and a healthy planet. The 2024 theme “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing” focuses on the interconnectedness between wetlands and various aspects of human wellbeing, including physical, mental and environmental health.

Wetlands offer vital freshwater, hosting over 100,000 species. They sustain humanity, exemplified by rice grown on wetland paddies, a staple for three billion people, contributing to 20% of global food. Additionally, wetlands act as natural shock absorbers, mitigating rainfall impacts and lowering flood and storm surge risks. 

Recognizing their importance, FAO is actively involved in supporting the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of wetlands from the perspective of food security and agriculture, including crop and livestock production, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, while promoting integrated land and water resources management, and addressing the challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity, and the competing demands from different sectors.

FAO, in collaboration with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security, will host the World Wetlands Day celebration on 2 February 2024 from 12:00 to 13:30 (CET) at FAO Headquarters and online.

The primary objectives of the celebration are to: (i) raise awareness on wetlands and human wellbeing; (ii) highlight wetlands’ contribution to One Health and food security; (iii) share agricultural solutions for wetlands and human well-being and; (iv) inspire actions and partnerships with FAO Members and other stakeholders.

Interpretation will be provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.


Video: Wetlands - A celebration of nature’s wonder




12:00 - 12:10

Welcome by the Moderator 
Mr. Lifeng Li, Director, Land and Water Division, FAO 

Opening remarks 
Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, FAO

12:10 – 12:15

Mr. Jay Aldous, Deputy Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

12:15 – 12:45


Country perspectives  

  • Mr Li Bo, Counselor and Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China
  • Mr Jon Marco Church, National Focal Point for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Ministry of Environment and Energy Security, Italy 
  • Ms Susanna D’Antoni, Technical-Scientific Focal Point for the Ramsar Convention, Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Italy
  • Mr Mohammad Faramarz, Director General of Flood and Watershed Management Office, Natural Resources and Watershed Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran (online)
  • Mr Braulio Dias, Director of the Department of Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Brazil (online)
  • Mr Phanuel Mangisi, Manager for Environmental Impact Assessments & Ecosystems Protection of the Environmental Management Agency of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and National Focal Point for Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (online)

12:45 – 12:50

Video “A celebration of nature’s wonder! – Wetlands”

12:50 – 13:20

Technical perspectives on wetlands and agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and forestry

  • “Mangroves, peatlands and wellbeing”
    Ms. Maria Nuutinen, Forestry Officer, Forestry Division, FAO and its focal point for the Ramsar Convention and the Global Peatlands Initiative
  • “Wetlands and capture fisheries”
    Mr Felix Marttin, Fishery Resources Officer, Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, FAO
  • “Wetlands and crop production”
    Mr Yurdi Yasmi, Special Coordinator, Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO
  • “Wetlands & water resource management”
    Ms. Amani Alfarra, Land and Water Officer, Land and Water Division, FAO
Launch of the FAO Wetlands Working Group 
Ms. Amani Alfarra, Land and Water Officer, Land and Water Division, FAO

    13:20 – 13:25

    Interactive discussions 

    13:25 – 13:30

    Closing remarks
    Mr. Lifeng Li, Director, Land and Water Division, FAO