Day 1: W to the D

The Society of Wetland Scientists‘ European Conference 2018 opened in Ohrid today with over 20 expert speakers delivering the very latest in wetland news to Macedonia.

Here’s W to the D for the first action!

Wetland habitats can be constructed to filter a wide range of pollutants, including sewage, farm waste, pharmaceuticals, landfills and even mine waters!

Ecosystem services depend on dominant plant species in wet grasslands.

Total species number for Lake Ohrid’s wetland superstar Studenchishte Marsh is 350, including 125 that are either rare or endemic (or both). But there’s certainly more to come.

Lake Prespa is another extremely valuable archive to investigate climate change over the past 100,000 years, especially in the transition between Mediterranean and Continental climate zones.

All of the core habitats of Studenchishte Marsh are government owned. So, there is no reason why they cannot be protected!

No excuses for governments not to save wetlands. It’s a one time investment and a win-win for people and nature.

Drilling cores to investigate climate and environmental changes over the past hundreds of thousands of years are relatively complete at Lake Ohrid compared to other ancient lakes such as Baikal, so species can be easily traced through vast time periods. This is comparatively unique!


Fun Fact

Mount Galichica is the Balkans’ richest for plant diversity!


Scary Secrets

Nobody knows exactly what kind of waste has been dumped in Studenchishte Marsh and insecticides are impacting water bodies through 40% of the globe’s land surface area.


Messages

What are we waiting for?” Kris Decleer of Research Institute for Nature and Forests in Brussels issues a call to put pressure on governments to treat wetlands with respect.  

I’ve been around Europe. I know Europe and this what you have here is quite special. You are obliged to protect it.” — Dr Rory Harrington, Department of Heritage, Environment and Local Government, Waterford, Ireland speaks about Lake Ohrid.


Final Thought

Could constructed wetlands help to solve some of Macedonia’s growing pollution problems like the River Sateska?


Follow the rest of the conference via Twitter on #SWSEuro2018!  

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