The core of all our work is the triangle of “practice, science and policy”. Our field-level practical experience and our science base are the foundation for our advocacy work to improve policies. 

Field experience supporting our advocacy work

We conduct many field activities that make a difference locally. Our main aim is to use these best practices to make changes in public and private policies. A good example is our fieldwork to rewet drained and degrading peat swamps. These successful pilot projects were crucial to persuading authorities to start large-scale restoration activities in China and Russia. Our experience working with local peoples at the field level has made us a credible source of information on issues of global importance.

Science as a tool for advocacy

The same applies to our work mobilising knowledge via science. While we undertake studies, leading to technical reports as well as a list of peer reviewed scientific articles, these are not an end in themselves. We use our science base to persuade policy makers and attract attention to our issues. As an example, our migratory waterbird studies have led to the protection of key wetlands.

How we advocate

We are directly involved in improving the policies of companies and governments in order to maintain the natural functions of wetlands. Our advocacy activities range from direct engagement and providing technical support, to advocacy and media campaigns.

We focus on selected themes. Our policy actions are directed at all levels, ranging from global intergovernmental UN conventions to regional and local policies. 

We address policies that impact wetlands directly, such as the designation of wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.  

Increasingly, we focus on policies that have indirect, but major impacts on wetlands. Corporate and public policies to promote the use of biofuels are an example. In time, policies substituting biofuels for fossil energy may reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, biofuels production is land and water intensive. Without proper guidance, biofuels will have adverse impacts on wetlands and their benefits for nature and people. In order to protect wetlands, we advocate for clear criteria in corporate roundtables, within individual companies and in producing and consuming countries.