Last week we told you about new “critical habitats” on the Google Earth layer and brought you Biodiversity hotspots, Endemic bird areas and Carpe landscapes. This week we’re publishing the first of the Ramsar wetlands to the layer – specifically, we bring you sites for Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt and Equatorial Guinea.
Ramsar sites take their name from the city in Iran where, in 1971, a number of governments undersigned the Ramsar convention on wetlands of international importance. Initially, there were 18 signatories. Today, there are 160.
Wetlands provide fundamental ecological services and are regulators of water regimes and sources of biodiversity at all levels. They constitute a great economic, scientific, cultural and recreational resource, and play a vital role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Each signatory undertakes to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance - or designated “Ramsar sites” – and to plan for the sustainable use of all the wetlands in their territories.
Find out more about Ramsar sites and why they’re important from the video below – and have fun exploring them geographically on Google Earth! We look forward to bringing you the next batch soon.