On February 2 we celebrate World Wetlands Day. At Hotel Puerto Valle we’d like to take a step back and consider the importance of protecting these ecosystems that play a vital role for our planet.
Have you ever wondered why is wetlands protection and restoration so important? Did you know about the lowlands role in our wellbeing and the sustainable future of our planet? Read more to understand the importance of this ecosystem in Argentina and the world.
What is a Wetland?
Wetlands include lakes, swamps and flooded areas that are covered by or saturated with water and are home to a significant number of species of flora and fauna addapted to those conditions. Wetlands are not simply a transition between aquatic and land environments, but have characteristics of their own.
Other names to refer to wetlands include: marsh, swamp, bog, marshland, and wash, among others.
Why are wetlands so important?
It is important to take care of wetlands because they are a crucial part of our planet and have a significant impact on our quality of life. They are excellent for controlling floods as they absorb excess water and filter it slowly.
In addition, they play an key role in the fight against climate change and in the retention of water for our consumption and production.
And on top of that, they are also valuable for their cultural heritage and for providing us with food, materials and medicines.
Those are some of the reasons for protecting and conserving our wetlands to ensure we have a healthy and sustainable future for all. Let’s do our part to take care of this ecosystem!
How are wetlands formed?
Wetlands are formed in areas where water is present permanently or intermittently. It can come from many sources: the sea, rivers, rainfall and underground aquifers, due to the high permeability of the soil, the presence of underground aquifers or the topography of the land that prevents natural drainage.
Additionally, weather conditions, such as rainfall, also play a role in the formation and permanence of wetlands.
Argentina’s National parks and wetlands
Globally, wetlands are estimated to cover approximately 12.1 million km2, but since 1970 their extent has decreased by 35%. In Argentina, there are 23 wetlands of international importance, including National Parks such as Ciervo de los Pantanos and Iberá.
In 2018, Argentina added six new National Parks to its nature protection system:
The Iberá National Park
The Iberá National Park is one of the largest wetlands, known for its biodiversity and for hosting endangered species.
The Mar Chiquita National Park
The Mar Chiquita National Park is one of the largest lakes in Argentina and harbors migratory birds and unique species.
The Paraná River National Park
The Paraná River National Park is an important place for a wide variety of birds, fish and mammals that live along the Paraná River.
Costanera Sur Ecological Nature Reserve
In the city of Buenos Aires, the Costanera Sur Ecological Nature Reserve is an significant sanctuary for birds and other animals.
Laguna Blanca National Park
In the province of La Pampa, the Laguna Blanca National Park is known for its natural beauty and for being home to birds and wildlife.
Santa Fe Islands National Park
The Santa Fe Islands National Park is a protected area located in Argentina, in the province of Santa Fe. The park encompasses a group of islands and sandbanks in the Paraná River, the habitat for a wide variety of birds, fish and other aquatic animals.
To read more about Argentina’s National parks, you can find more information on these links: (Iberá National Park, Santa Fe Islands National Park, Mar Chiquita National Park, Paraná River National Park, Costanera Sur Ecological Nature Reserve and Laguna Blanca National Park).
World Wetlands Day
As we mentioned at the beginning, World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on 2 February. For us, it is a very special celebration to raise awareness about nature and environmental care. On this day, environmental groups, non-profit organizations and other groups that want to make a difference come together to organize a series of fun and awareness-raising events.
For us World Wetlands Day main goal is for all of us to learn about the importance of the wetlands and be motivated to take action to protect them. For example, in Argentina, we have several spectacular places that deserve to be protected, including “Esteros del Iberá”.
This beautiful ecosystem is located in the province of Corrientes and is home to a wide variety of animal species, including deer, alligators and waterfowl.
In Iberá, animals are free and can move through their natural territory; therefore, they may be sometimes difficult to spot. However, that makes the experience more authentic, as visitors will be able to see them in their natural habitat and not in an artificial environment. In addition, Iberá is not just about the wildlife, but also a natural area with a unique beauty that you will love to explore. There are hiking trails, bird watching, lagoons and so much more. A visit to the wetlands is an opportunity to enjoy nature and connect with the environment.
Keep in mind that we are entering the ecosystem and habitat of wild species, and we must respect their environment.
Behind each experience organized at Puerto Valle, there is a great effort of environmental care and conservation that is possible because of the work of many people who are committed to the preservation of nature. By visiting Iberá, you will not only have an incredible experience… you will also be contributing to the conservation of nature.