Malta's most significant environmental problems include inadequate water supply, deforestation, and the preservation of its wildlife. The country's extremely limited fresh water resources have led to increasing dependence on desalination. The nation's agriculture suffers from lack of adequate water for crops due to limited rainfall. Currently, 31% of Malta's land area is arable land and 3% is planted with permanent crops. Malta was one of the first countries to ratify the 1976 Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean from pollution. Malta's government has made recent efforts to control environmental damage including passage of the Environmental Protection Act of 1991 and the creation of a Ministry for the Environment. The Ministry of Health and Environment belongs to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. In cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund, the Ghadira wetland area was made a permanent nature reserve in 1980. According to the United Nation reports in the mid-1990s, a significant proportion of Malta's animal and plant life is in danger of extinction. Endangered species include the slender-billed curlew, Mediterranean monk seal, hawksbill turtle, and Atlantic ridley.