MAN AND BIOSPHERE (MAB)

 WETLANDS AS MODELS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: THE SONGOR RAMSAR SITE-
The United Nations Convention on Wetlands of International Significance, Ramsar Convention (1971), defines wetlands as areas of lands whose soil is saturated with moisture permanently or seasonally and are covered partially or completely with shallow pools of water which may be fresh, salt or brackish.

They are vital ecosystems which serve several significant social, economic and environmental functions viz: control of storm surges, regulation of river flow, filtration of pollutants, provision of nesting sites and nursery sites for important biodiversity, etc.

They also play an important global role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Ghana has numerous wetlands by virtue of drainage by several rivers. The coastal area is particularly noted for this due to the presences of four major rivers, over 90 lagoons, as well as marshes, estuaries and swamps).

In the last three decades, increasing population led to tremendous pressure on the resources of all these wetlands. High rural-urban migration coupled with high industrial activities, have underscored the need for the protection of these wetlands from impacts of land-based activities.

The preparation of a national wetlands management strategy document in 1991 by the then Wildlife Department led to the implementation of the Coastal Wetlands Management Project.

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