2 February is annual World Wetlands Day. The ecological importance of wetlands for climate protection is being increasingly recognised. So far, the Federal Environment Ministry has provided more than € 27 million from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) for wetland conservation projects.
Wetlands play an indispensible role when it comes to supplying the world's population with water, food and natural resources. Intact bog ecosystems, for instance, would have helped to reduce the magnitude of the devastating forest fires in Russia last summer. For this reason Germany has pledged to provide Russia with expert advice on natural regeneration measures for bogs through large-scale waterlogging.
World Wetlands Day commemorates the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in the city of Ramsar in Iran on 2 Februar, 1971. The Ramsar Convention is thus the world's oldest globally effective nature conservation convention.
The projects funded by the Federal Environment Ministry through ICI include mangrove forest conservation, adaptation to climate change in coastal regions of the Pacific, bog conservation in Belarus and Ukraine, peat forest conservation in Indonesia and inland wetland conservation in South Africa and Turkey. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo the Federal Environment Ministry supports one of the world's largest areas designated by the Ramsar Convention as a "wetland of international importance".
With the International Climate Initiative, which was launched in 2008, the Federal Environment Ministry supports climate projects in developing, newly industrialising and transition countries. Funding under the initiative comes from the auctioning of emissions allowances.