In the following passage, some words have been deleted. Read the passage carefully and select the most appropriate option to fill in each blank.

A broad definition of wetlands (1)_______ ecosystems such as lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps, coral reefs, and many others; but also, human-made artificial sites (2)_______ fishponds or reservoirs. Though they cover only around 6 per cent of the Earth’s land surface, 40 per cent of all plant and animal species live or breed in them. Wetlands are also vital for human wellbeing and security. More than a billion people across the world depend on them for their livelihoods, about one in eight people on Earth. According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), these ecosystems are also the unsung heroes of the climate crisis. In fact, they (3)_______ more carbon than any other ecosystem, with peatlands alone storing twice (4)_______ all the world’s forests. And inland wetland ecosystems absorb excess water and help prevent floods and drought, something critical to help communities adapt to a changing climate. In the words of Leticia Carvalho, Principal Coordinator for Marine and Freshwater at UNEP, healthy wetlands ‘punch above their weight in terms of benefits’. The theme for the very first World Day is “Wetlands Action for People and Nature”. It serves as an urgent call to act and to invest financial, human, and political capital, to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing altogether - and to restore those areas already lost. Wetlands are disappearing three times (5)_______ forests and are Earth’s most threatened ecosystem. In just 50 years - since 1970 - 35 per cent of the world’s wetlands have evaporated.

Question 197

Select the most appropriate option to fill in blank no. 2.

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