By Hita Tovar

Each year, signatory nations of the Ramsar Convention celebrate International Wetlands Day, and this year, Mexico wasn’t going to be left out. The Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and  Oceans  (CEDO),  headquar-
tered in Puerto Peñasco, together with the Adair Bay Network of Wetland Collectives (REHBA), sponsored a number
of activities on this, an important day for both organizations.
Grassroots Bulletin on Sustainable Development in Northwest Mexico
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International Wetlands Day
Celebrated in Northwest Mexico

On this date, we are reminded of the importance that these ecosystems have as: carbon sinks; mating, nesting, feeding and refuge areas for local and migratory birds; nurseries for a large number of fish species; natural water reclamation and purification systems; and habitat for countless protected species. The wetlands help to mitigate climate change and their scenic qualities should not be overlooked, as they provide us with recreational opportunities, many of which are currently being explored.
CEDO and REHBA participate during a special radio show on wetlands at the local radio station in Reyna del Mar.
Peñasco Municipal President and his wife support REHBA and CEDO during the cleanup campaign of local streets celebrating International Wetlands Day.
In Sonora we have seven Ramsar sites, and in the northwest we have a number of interesting wetlands, such as Bahía Adair, Bahía San Jorge, and the Río Colorado Delta (with its outstanding Ciénega de Santa Clara).

To celebrate, REHBA and CEDO organized a number of different activities on February 2 in order to provide information to the public about the importance of these ecosystems. Daniel Soto, a representative of REHBA was a guest on a local radio show where he talked about the work carried out by this group of Ejido members to help conserve the Adair estuaries, as well as about their upcoming projects that introduce sustainable activities. The groups also handed out information on the main streets of town, including Calle 13, and the promenade. There were environmental movies and a public walk along the Morúa Estuary, along with other leisure activities and arcade games.  
Wetlands play a fundamental part in maintaining mother nature’s balance. Every effort that is taken to conserve them and direct their utilization towards sustainability will be of great benefit to all humankind.
*Biologist at CEDO
Puerto Penasco logo
Banner at the Ejido meeting hall: International Wetlands Day was the first time ever that Ejido Salinas G. has displayed a sign celebrating the environment. (Photos: Hita Tovar)

Forty one years ago on February 2 in the city of Ramsar, Iran, leaders from a number of countries met to sign the first international conservation treaty, known as the Ramsar Convention.

The treaty’s main objective is the conservation and rational use of wetlands through community, state and national action. The Ramsar Convention promotes the sustainable management of these ecosystems, making it an innovative treaty and a valuable conservation tool.

Our country joined the Convention in 1986 and to date, we have 134 wetlands of international importance, designated as such for their biological diversity. This puts us in second place for the most number of Ramsar sites, those wetlands which are listed because of their conservation priority.
Participants on a walk along the estuary.
Volunteers handed out informational pamphlets about February 2 and the wetlands all along the town's main streets.