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World Wetlands Day events near you

Film screenings, talks, visits, and conferences and photography competitions across France

NATURE tours, film screenings, talks, conferences and photography competitions are being held over the coming days to mark World Wetlands Day.

The event is a showcase of the biodiversity of wetlands with plenty of opportunities for the public to join in.

To find events near you visit and click on events.

In Brittany the wildlife protection charity Bretagne Vivante has issued an open invitation for tours to mark the day on February 2.

Fourteen sessions are being held across the region, where people can learn to identify the birds which migrate to the area every winter from Siberia and Northern Europe.

The sessions, held in a variety of locations, include film screenings and talks, as well as guided walks with an ornithologist through the wetlands to spot the birds before they leave to return to their nesting sites for the summer.

It will also be possible to visit bird-watching hides equipped with powerful binoculars - a brilliant chance to learn to identify species including geese, ducks, grebes, coots, gulls, waders, herons, spoonbills and sandpipers.

Brittany, with its estuaries, bay, inland marshes and lakes, is particularly rich in wetlands, which are vital to maintaining biodiversity. They are home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, they protect our coastlines, provide natural sponges against river flooding and absorb carbon dioxide.

The sessions in Brittany take place from January 30 to February 14. Click here for the full list of what's happening where and how to book.

This year's World Wetlands Day theme is Sustainable Livelihoods. More than a billion people make their livings from wetlands; from activities as diverse as fishing, rice-farming, travel, tourism and water provision. But more than 64% of wetlands worldwide have disappeared since 1990.

It is essential to preserve those remaining. World Wetlands Day therefore aims to demonstrate that preserving wetlands is not incompatible with ensuring that people can make a decent living in them.

To spread the word, is also running a photography competition for people aged 15 to 24.

The prize is a flight to any wetlands destination anywhere in the world, courtesy of Star Alliance Biosphere Connections.

Pictures have to be taken in a wetlands location between February 2 and March 2 and uploaded before midnight on March 2.

The subject is people making a living from wetlands, and photographers can submit up to three images. Full rules of the competition can be found

What birds have you spotted migrating through France? Let us know on Facebook or via email.

Photos: Jean DAVID,
Guide animateur naturaliste, Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Marais de Séné

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