An Overview of African Wetlands
The African region as described in this overview includes the mainland continent and the island states of Cape Verde, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Sao Tome & Principe, and Seychelles, making up a total of 53 States, 23 of which are Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention. Africa's size and diversity of landscape are striking: bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Indian and Atlantic oceans to the east and west respectively, and the Antarctic in the south, it covers 70º of latitude, several climatic zones, and a considerable altitudinal range. Various wetland types characterize the diverse and panoramic African environment, from mountains reaching an altitude of 6,000m through deserts to coastal zones at sea level. Although wetlands constitute only around 1% of Africa's total surface area, (excluding coral reefs and some of the smaller seasonal wetlands), and relatively little scientific investigation has been undertaken in them in comparison to other ecosystems such as forest or to wetlands in other parts of the world, their important role in support of the region's biodiversity and the livelihood of large human populations is becoming increasingly clear from ongoing studies.
- Miscellaneous