The government of Bolivia is celebrating World Wetlands Day 2013 today by designating three enormous new Wetlands of International Importance in the Department of Beni in the lowland northeast of the country, bringing the Convention's global total of area coverage by the Contracting Parties to 204,797,361 hectares (2,047,973 km2). The new listings, providing strong evidence of Bolivia's strong commitment to wetland conservation and the Ramsar Convention's wise use philosophy, also move that country from 8th place to first place in total land area amongst the Parties, now with 11 sites covering 14,842,405 hectares, surpassing Canada's formerly premier position with 13,066,695.
From the first Ramsar Site designation, Australia's "Cobourg Peninsula" on 8 May 1974, some 28 years elapsed before the listing of "Complejo de humedales del Abanico del río Pastaza" by Peru brought the Convention's global total over 100 million hectares on World Environment Day, 5 June 2002. (Boliva's designation of "Lagos Poopó y Uru Uru" one month later brought the global total to 103 million on 11 July 2002). Little more than a decade later, on World Wetlands Day 2013, the second tranche of 100 million has been added to the Ramsar List, a good suggestion that the pace of commitment to the conservation and sustainable use of wetland resources amongst the world's nations may be accelerating; presently the 164 Parties to the Convention have committed themselves to maintaining the ecological character of nearly 2,100 wetlands, ranging from 1 hectare to more than 6.5 million hectares, from marshes and fens to oases in arid lands, from peat bogs and intertidal mudflats to coral reefs and rivers and lakes.
World Wetlands Day celebrations took place in Bolivia on 2nd February.Read the full report on that event here.