On 2nd February each year we celebrate World Wetlands Day to raise awareness for the importance of wetlands. Sierra Leone is home of different kinds of wetlands as we have coastal wetlands with mangroves as well as swamps inland.

Wetlands are among the most important types of ecosystems. Their functions and services are essential for human lives and biodiversity. While some of the unique characteristics of wetlands make them Nature's champion for nutrient cycling, the same characteristics, sadly, also make wetlands hotspots for the accumulation of methylmercury - the organic and most toxic form of mercury that causes serious and irreversible neurological and physiological damage to humans and wildlife.

To date, nearly 90 percent of the world’s wetlands have been degraded or lost. We are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. There is an urgency to raise global awareness on wetlands to arrest and reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to restore and conserve these vital ecosystems.

Did you know that in Sierra Leone we have only one official recognised Ramsar Site? Ramsar Sites are important wetlands for biodiversity and climate change mitigation. Our Ramsar Site is the Aberdeen Creek. The Creek is a very important ecosystem. But unfortunately, it is not well kept. Parts of the creeks look like a dumpsite, Mangroves in the creek have been cut down and people already marked the areas to built their houses.

We should be proud of our wonderful nature and conserve it – not destroy it. We ask all responsible persons for real commitment to protect Sierra Leones nature for the well-being of us all.