In 2008, Royal Dutch Shell and Wetlands International established a five-year partnership to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands by Shell and its affiliates. It will strengthen the capacity of Wetlands International through building in-house business skills and sharing knowledge in the communication, HR and finance disciplines. The partnership was signed by Jeroen van der Veer, then Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell and Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International.
The partnership is in recognition of the disproportionately high global significance of wetland ecosystems in terms of biodiversity, water provision, people's livelihoods and climate change. Wetlands such as deltas, shallow marine systems, inter-tidal marshes, rivers and peatlands are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the energy industry's policies and practices.
New strategies, policies and tools
As part of this partnership, Shell will seek to develop new strategies, policies and tools to protect wetlands biodiversity and people, and to fulfill its sustainable development objectives. Wetlands International will provide the knowledge about wetland areas, their values and advice on how to manage them in a more sustainable way. The cooperation will in general aim to minimise the loss of nature and negative impacts on associated livelihoods.
The activities under the partnership will focus on specific areas where the activities of Shell and Wetlands International overlap. Examples of this is the development by Wetlands International of guidance on reducing the impacts of activities of the oil and gas sector on wetlands. Areas where we currently explore cooperation include, reducing the possible negative impacts of biofuel production, oil exploration in the Artic and the Niger Delta, and enhanced conservation of crucial wetlands along the flyways of waterbirds.