Photo: Sari Airas
The CEPA guidelines encourage the establishment of Wetland Centres for promoting the principles of wetland conservation and wise use. Additionally, the guidelines emphasize the need to exchange information, materials and expertise between established centres for their mutual benefit, and for the benefit of newly established centres.
Wetland Centres are prime vehicles for raising awareness of the functions and values of wetlands within the general public and school groups, as well as emphasizing the role of all citizens in wise use and conserving wetlands.
CEPA guidelines also call for Contracting Parties to formulate their CEPA Action Plans at national levels for priority activities that address international, regional, national, and local needs.
World Wetlands Day
One important CEPA activity is the celebration of the World Wetlands Day which is celebrated 2nd February every year. It marks the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on the same day, in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971. Every year the Ramsar Convention selects a theme and the secretariat distributes materials which can help government agencies, non-governmental organizations, conservation organizations and groups of citizens to raise their awareness about the importance and value of wetlands and to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.
World Wetlands Day in NorBalWet countries
Nordic Baltic countries have decided to set World Wetlands Day in the first week of September because it is a more suitable time of the year for the NorBalWet countries. In this way the countries are able to arrange events in the wetlands when there is no snow covering the ground.