Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wetlands cover nine percent of Cuba

By Granma Internacional:

Wetlands in Cuba cover an area of approximately 10,410 square kilometers, equal to 9.3% of the islands total surface and include swampy areas along the coastline and in the interior. 

These ecosystems are known for their fragility and vulnerability, although they provide ecological and economic benefits, among them habitat protection and the reduction of costal erosion.

They also play a vital part in the capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, purification of effluents, limiting the impact of extreme weather on infrastructure and supplying water for consumption and economic activities.

Furthermore, they contribute to replenishing subterranean water supplies and collecting rain in urban and rural zones; in addition to controlling floods and stabilizing the coastline; as well as forming barriers between land and sea phenomenon.

Ciénaga de Zapata is home to crocodiles and numerous species of Cuban flora and fauna.
According to information from the Environment Agency on the entity’s website, Cuban wetlands are an inseparable part of the country’s biological wealth and diversity, adding that they include vast landscapes featuring estuaries, open coasts, marshes, floodplains, scrublands and forests, lakes, canals and rivers.

Artificially created wetlands can function in either a positive or negative way, in accordance with the nature of the biological assets affected. 

Among the most prominent in Cuba are the Ciénaga de Zapata, Birama (including the River Cauto delta), Lanier, Cunagua, Pinar del Río’s southeastern lakeside system and the Colorados islets; Sabana Camagüey; Jardines de la Reina; and the Canarreos.

The wetlands of Ciénaga de Zapata, in Matanzas, are the largest and most exceptional in Cuba and the Caribbean, meriting their inclusion in the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially noted on the Waterfowl Habitat List.

Ramsar is the name of the city in Iran where this Convention was signed on February 2, 1971. Provisions went into effect December 21, 1975. (AIN)

September 01, 2014