On February 3rd, on the occasion of 2022 World Wetlands Day, IDEA, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and WWF Azerbaijan joined a global #WorldWetlandsRun campaign and organized a running event on the Baku boulevard. The running was dedicated to Ghizilagaj National Park, whose wetland area has been included into the list of internationally recognized endangered wetland areas, vital for many fish and marine birds, and, at the initiative of IDEA, designated as a Hope Spot in 2019 under a global conservation campaign of Mission Blue. The organizers thank everyone who signed up and came to this symbolic event to spread awareness for the wetlands.
Unfortunately, wetlands are often viewed as inhospitable wastelands, however they are some of the most productive ecosystems, which filter our water, provide habitat for all kinds of animals, protect our coastlines and help nature adapt to climate change. Storing 5 times more freshwater than world rivers and absorbing at least 7 times more carbon than forests, wetlands are actually disappearing 3 times as fast as forests. Wetlands are home to over 2000 plant, 200 bird, more than 40 reptile and over 1000 invertebrate species. Therefore, we need to address behaviors that are contributing to their decline, protect, preserve and restore them, as well as raise awareness about the problems wetlands are facing on a national and international levels.