Día Mundial de los Humedales 2008

World Wetlands Day 2008

Healthy Mangroves, Healthy People

“The loss of the mangrove ecosystem has not just brought unemployment to the communities, but has also damaged the dignity of the people”.

Maria Cagua, shell-fish catcher of Bolivar region of Muisne,
Esmeraldas, Ecuador

World Wetlands Day is celebrated this 2nd of February. The RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands suggested the theme for World Wetlands Day 2008: Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People.

With this theme the aim is to emphasize the strong relationship between healthy functioning wetland ecosystems and human health, and underline the importance of management strategies that support both the health of wetland ecosystems and the health of humans.

The testimony of Maria Cagua, shell-fish catcher woman from the region of Muisne, province of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, that opens this release, is very eloquent. She addresses the tight relation between the life of the mangrove ecosystem and that of the traditional and indigenous communities.

In Ecuador, 70% of the original mangrove ecosystem is lost, and this has resulted not only in the loss of the forests and its associated species, but also in the destruction of the biodiversity: vegetation and wildlife; moreover, also in the pollution of the waters and the obstruction of estuaries and channels. This has drastically modified the livelihoods of the traditional and indigenous communities of the mangrove ecosystem and diminished their quality of life.


Therefore the traditional and indigenous populations of the mangrove ecosystem together in the C-CONDEM (National Coordination Unit in Defense of the Mangrove Ecosystem of Ecuador) appeal to one and all, in order to promote the restoration and community conservation of the ecosystem to which we have been linked from long ago, and to manage it in benefit of our communities, as to guarantee the rights to work and food sovereignty.

We are sure that in Ecuador “WITHOUT MANGROVES THERE IS NO MOTHERLAND”. Our ecosystem guarantees our life.

Mangroves C-CONDEM – manglares@ccondem.org.ec

C-CONDEM Corporación Coordinadora Nacional para la Defensa del Ecosistema Manglar del Ecuador. ©2013. manglares@ccondem.org.ec