Federal Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan has said that conserving wetlands and protecting them from any damage is critical for their sustainability.

In a statement on the eve of the World Wetlands Day 2015, he said water bodies play a vital role for environmental services, human survival, biological diversity and mitigating impacts of floods.

The minister urged the people to pledge for sustainable use of natural resources and protection of wetlands across the country for our shared future.

World Wetlands Day will be observed on 2nd February under theme "Wetlands for Our Future". The wetlands constitute lakes, marshes, peat lands, wet grasslands, streams and rivers.

Mushahid Ullah Khan said as a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, Pakistan has been an active member of this global platform for conservation and wise use of wetlands resources.

He said there are about 225 wetlands, covering 780,000 hectares, which makes up 10 percent of the country's total land mass. As many as 19 of the all wetlands in Pakistan have been designated as Ramsar Sites, having international significance in view of criteria of the Ramsar Convention.

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