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Wetlands are land areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains, and swamps. Coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and even coral reefs. Fish ponds, rice paddies, and salt pans are human-made wetlands. Wetlands play an important role in reducing the impact of hurricanes, floods and droughts. Wetlands act as a natural sponge because they absorb, and store excess rainfall and thus reduce flooding. Directly or indirectly, they provide almost all of the world’s consumption of freshwater and more than 40 percent of all species live and breed in wetlands. Wetlands also provide a livelihood for more than one billion people, while mitigating floods and protecting coastlines. They are also a vital source of food, raw materials and genetic resources for medicines. Wetlands Can Help Fight Climate Change but if these ecosystems are not protected, they could release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

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