World Wetland Day 2019

02 Feb 2019

It’s World Wetlands Day today and while wetlands all over the planet are celebrating, they are also ringing the alarm bells: despite all the services they provide they are still under threat. Wetland ecosystems are directly threatened by climate change which causes the sea level to rise, as well as causing changes in the hydrological status of catchment areas and changes in the temperature, availability and quality of the water. At the same time, wetlands are a natural solution for mitigating the effects of climate change: they are excellent carbon sinks, they reduce the devastating impact of floods as well as the storm surges, and are a valuable source of water in regions or periods of drought.

Climate change is expected to significantly affect the ecosystem functions of Prespa. The potential reduction of the water level will decrease the extent of wet meadows, which are the most valuable feeding areas for waterbirds and important spawning grounds for fish. Extreme weather conditions, such as intense droughts, may increase the wildfire risk in the reedbed, while they can negatively affect the cultivations around the lakes. The LIFE Prespa Waterbirds project aims to implement management actions in Lesser Prespa, which will contribute to the adaptation of the ecosystem to climate changeeffects.