Saturday April 20, 2019
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Wetlands Disappearing Faster Than Forests Due to Climate Change: Report

Authors of the report say biodiversity also is in a state of crisis. They say more than 25 percent of all wetlands plants and animals are at risk of extinction.

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A fisherman stands on his boat as he fishes at the Tisma lagoon wetland park, also designated as Ramsar Site 1141 in the Convention on Wetlands, in Tisma, Nicaragua. VOA

A new report warns that wetlands are disappearing three times faster than the world’s forests, with serious consequences for all life on earth due to climate change.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is a global treaty ratified in 1971 by 170 countries to protect wetlands, which are ecosystems inundated by water, such as swamps, bogs and floodplains.

Unfortunately, the goal of this treaty is under threat. Ramsar Convention officials report about 35 percent of the world’s wetlands have been lost between 1970 and 2015.

Climate
Wetlands. Wikimedia Commons

State of crisis

Unless this situation is urgently reversed, Ramsar Convention Secretary-General Martha Roja Urrego warns the world will be in a state of crisis because wetlands are critical for all aspects of life.

“All the water that we use for consumption, irrigation and for hydro-electricity comes directly or indirectly from wetlands,” Urrego said. “Secondly, wetlands also have a main function in filtering waste and pollutants, so they act as the kidneys of the world. They filter the waste.”

Urrego says wetlands also are essential in regulating the global climate as peatlands store twice as much carbon as the world’s forests.

Amazon, Climate
This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows a deforested area near Novo Progresso in Brazil’s northern state of Para.. VOA

Several factors

The report finds wetland loss is driven mainly by such factors as climate change, population increase, changing consumption patterns and urbanization, particularly in coastal zones and river deltas.

Also Read: UN Agencies and Bangladesh Government Advances to Prevent Further Deforestation

Authors of the report say biodiversity also is in a state of crisis. They say more than 25 percent of all wetlands plants and animals are at risk of extinction.

Scientists say without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity, because the air people breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat ultimately rely on biodiversity in its many forms. (VOA)

Next Story

UAE Gets Help From An Indian Student, Develops Robot Cleaner For The State

"Recycling just one tonne of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,000 kilowatts of energy"

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robot
"The robot is autonomous and provides the facility for the optional switching of the ploughing system when required," he said. Pixabay

An Indian student has invented robots to help the United Arab Emirates (UAE) become greener, including a cleaner bot that preserves the marine environment and another that helps minimize human labour on farms, the media reported.

Sainath Manikandan, a student at the GEMS United Indian School here, built the Marine Robot Cleaner (MBot Cleaner) and Agriculture Robot (Agribot), and said he hopes that authorities would implement his inventions on a bigger scale, the Khaleej Times reported on Thursday.

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Last year, Manikandan collected nearly 2,500 kg of paper and 250 kg of plastics. Pixabay

His mission with the robots is to help protect marine species and the farmers who work in warmer countries like the UAE.

“MBot is a prototype robot that can remove floating wastes from surface water. It is basically shaped like a boat and can be operated remotely with a radio control. It runs with two motors that help the boat move in the water. Popsicle sticks are attached to a wheel and then to the third motor to push the waste from the water bodies into the storage basket,” he said.

The student added that by developing the MBot on a bigger scale, “we can try to preserve our marine species and environment”.

His AgriBot is a machine that is also powered by solar panels, instead of batteries.

Manikandan has suggested that drones be used along with this robot to assist and control the seed-planting process on farms.

“The purpose of AgriBot is to help the farmers in hot countries like the UAE. It is designed to minimize the labour of farmers, in addition to increasing the speed and accuracy of the work. It performs the elementary functions involved in farming, such as ploughing the field, sowing seeds, and covering the seeds with soil.

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His mission with the robots is to help protect marine species and the farmers who work in warmer countries like the UAE. Pixabay

“The robot is autonomous and provides the facility for the optional switching of the ploughing system when required,” he said.

Also Read: Facebook Preventing Violent Material From Being Uploaded And Shared on The Site

Last year, Manikandan collected nearly 2,500 kg of paper and 250 kg of plastics.

“Recycling just one tonne of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,000 kilowatts of energy,” he added. (IANS)