Wetlands are part of one of the richest and most essential ecosystems in the world. These ecosystems have been constituted thanks to climatic and geomorphologic particularities of territory, in interdependence with forestry, mountainous, plain and other ecosystems. They play essentially the role of "reserve" in the hydrological cycle and the role of biodiversity “reservoir” by sheltering thousands of animal and plant species.
Man benefits - often without knowing it - from their natural functions and services which wetlands offer. Moreover they attend - free of charge! – to the needs of million persons. Did you know that we use wetlands daily? We cultivate their soil, we fish for food, we cut their trees for building, we hunt the waterfowl for leisure activities, we organize ecotourism programs in remarkable sites, we use their water for our domestic or agricultural needs, etc.
Among the other numerous values associated with wetlands (like the aesthetic one, the cultural one...), the economic one is recent. Developed under concepts from the economy of the environment, this notion includes the various economic values attributed by man to nature, according to the utility and the profit which they get from its functions.