Today, 2nd February, we celebrate World Wetlands Day (WWD). The aim of this commemoration is to raise awareness of the importance of this type of natural habitat.
Its celebration coincides with the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on the conservation of these ecosystems. This agreement was signed in the Iranian city that gives it its name.
Wetlands are areas of land surface that are temporarily or permanently flooded, are regulated by climatic factors and are in continuous relationship with the abundant fauna and flora that inhabit them.
They are considered to be the closest terrestrial ecosystems to aquatic ecosystems, as they are in a transition zone between them. They are shallow, and the water can be fresh, salt or brackish.
It is common to find wetlands in flat areas, close to rivers or lakes, which provide them with water, or isolated, with no apparent source of water, which, in these cases, is usually underground.
This is a very fragile type of ecosystem, and one that is often under great threat throughout the world. It is no different in our country, where our geographical situation, the risk of desertification and cases of exploitation of aquifers put the survival of this type of biome at risk.
Rice cultivation, which in Spain dates back to the time when the Arabs inhabited the Iberian Peninsula, has formed over time a whole social and cultural framework, respectful of the environment, which produces quality food while caring for and maintaining the environment, co-evolving with nature in what has become a true agro-ecological partnership between people and the environment.
Rice fields, as we know, are usually located in areas of high ecological value, where wetlands such as marshes, marshlands or deltas are home to one of the greatest biological diversities in the world, and are considered ecosystems with very high biological productivity.
Rice plays a very important role in the maintenance of these ecosystems, as they maintain an extensive layer of water for many months of the year, which favours the development of insects, crabs and other invertebrates that form part of the diet of birds. The diet of many of these species depends almost exclusively on the rice fields and, at the same time, these SPAs (Special Protection Areas for Birds) are a key wintering and breeding site to enable their survival.
Moreover, this agro-ecological wealth has led to the development of a new economic model, such as ornithological tourism in the Ebro Delta, Albufera or Doñana National Park. In the case of the latter National Park, the arrival of summer sees some of the natural marshes dry up. It is then that the birds move to feed in the surrounding rice fields, where they find the necessary sustenance.
At Dacsa Group we are aware that caring for wetlands with sustainable agricultural practices is vital, and that is why we support and promote good agricultural practices with our farmers, who are aware of the importance of their work for the conservation of nature and therefore for ensuring the economic, social and environmental well-being of future generations.