On invitation of the Philippine government, the Dutch Risk Reduction (DRR)-team visited Manilla and Tacloban early July to assess the possibilities to protect the coastline in and around Tacloban by creating hard engineering works, planting mangrove trees and reclaiming land. The coordinator of Wetlands International in Philippines was part of this team.
News from http://www.dutchwatersector.com/.
By Paul Brotherton
Despite the long history of abuse, Senegal’s Ndiaël Avifauna Special Reserve remains important, with a huge potential for restoration to benefit both people and nature, and that’s why Wetlands International and our partners have committed to the rewetting of the Reserve for the past five years.
Ten years after the major tsunami hit Aceh, Indonesia in 2004, President Clinton visited the village of Layeun to find out what more can be done to support their recovery. While some areas are recovering, other communities are still on the edge of poverty. During the visit Wetlands International announced a new commitment to support and empower the villagers by restoring the local environment and working with the community to diversify their livelihoods for sustainable income generation. This initiative will build on our Green Coast project that restored coastal ecosystems after the tsunami.
By Paul Brotherton
June is the end of the hot and dry season in Senegal. More auspiciously, it is peak mango season. As I drove north from the capital of Dakar with a team from the Wetlands International Africa office, mango sellers blanketed the roadside selling the best mangoes I’d ever tasted.
Mbarara – On Friday 11 July 2014, Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment made a commitment to work towards the provision of safe and adequate drinking water. The High Level Event, consisting of Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment, local organisations, international NGOs and donors, focused on the creation of an action plan to scale-up efforts to provide safe and clean drinking water across the country.
By Telly Kurniasari, Wetlands International Indonesia
The world’s increasing demand for palm oil and pulp wood for paper production attracts the private sector to invest more and more in these businesses in Indonesia and Malaysia. But are banks, the creditors of these businesses, aware of the risks of their investments in palm oil and pulp wood plantations when these are developed on peatlands?
By Sandro Calmanti, ENEA.
Global warming may imply large fluctuations of the impact of droughts in rural areas. Adaptation strategies will likely have to cope with such variable conditions rather than with constant trends.
Today, an international network of more than one hundred twenty organizations on five continents is unveiling a powerful new Global Paper Vision that will unite the myriad of voices currently challenging the paper industry to adopt more sustainable practices.
Brussels. European Union energy ministers decided not to account for the real greenhouse gas emissions caused by biofuels used for transport in the EU. In a political agreement reached today, ministers refused to reflect indirect land-use change (ILUC) in GHG accounting and subsidy schemes for biofuels.
Park Directors from Mauritania, Senegal and Russia signed an agreement committing them to work together for the sustainable management of migratory waterbirds in critical wetlands within the three countries that are connected by the East-Atlantic Flyway. The agreement was the result of Wetlands International’s ‘From the Arctic to Africa’ initiative to protect waterbirds flying between Africa and the Arctic. The signing took place at a flyway exchange programme that brought representatives from Mauritania and Senegal to the Arctic.
By Jan Heinrich, Wetlands International and Hernán de Arriba, ProYungas.
- With the theme ‘Thinking Outside the Box’, the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Round Table (RT9) on Responsible Soy (RTRS) in Brazil from 7-8 May, aimed to capture ideas on how to introduce innovation to the world of responsible soy. Supporting this vibe, ProYungas and Wetlands International presented the Socio-Environmental Observatory on Soy (OSAS), the first database that systematically monitors the expansion and social and environmental impacts of soy in Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil.
The Panamanian delegation and Wetlands International call for ecosystem conservation in Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Americas (RP14), held last week in Ecuador, concluded with little attention for one of the root causes of increased disaster risk: Environmental degradation. Ecosystems, such as wetlands, in a healthy state provide many benefits and play a key role in disaster risk reduction (DRR). Nevertheless, they received few mentions during the entire platform of three days, and in the final Communiqué their role is limited as a topic to be addressed in cases of transboundary risk management.
Wetlands should be better managed and restored for their ability to reduce disaster risk, says Wetlands International. To stimulate this, the post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (the Hyogo Framework for Action, to be adopted in 2015 in Japan), should pay increased attention to the key role of wetlands to reduce disaster risk and the need for integrated water resources and wetlands management. Wetlands International delivers this call at the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction of the Americas in Guayaquil, Ecuador from 26-29 May.
Zaragoza. Experts from Spain and Portugal discussed how to restore rivers and manage landscapes to reduce flooding risks and impacts. At the same event prizes were awarded to the best short stories, poems and pictures about rivers.
Wetlands are vital storehouses of biodiversity and important bulwarks against the effects of climate change, while also providing livelihoods for millions of people, but they’re being lost at an increasing rate. Geographical Magazine's Mark Rowe reports.
The giant Majnoon Oil field in Southern Iraq overlaps with the country’s most important wetland area, the Mesopotamian Marshlands. Decreasing water availability is a constraint here for both the marshes and the oil industry in this dry country. Despite years of warfare and large-scale drainage, there is suddenly new hope for the marshes thanks to the collaboration of Shell and Wetlands International.
This weekend, people and organisations all over the world will celebrate World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). The theme this year is “Destination Flyways : Migratory Birds and Tourism”. WMBD was initiated in 2006 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. Wetlands International is a founding partner in this celebration and we are happy to be joined by an increasing number of partners.
By Marta Andelman, Wetlands International Argentina -
Those consuming tofu and soy milk, but especially meat eaters and those driving a car should keep a critical eye on the impacts of soy cultivation. About 70 percent of soy cultivated is used for animal feed fulfilling the growing meat demands in the world, while the second largest driver of soy expansion is for the use of biodiesel. Whilst recognising these values of soy, its expansion has adverse impacts on important wetlands and forests in South America, and violates land rights. We therefore join many other NGO’s in their efforts to green the soy industry.
A group of experts met in Roosta, Estonia, between the 23rd and the 25th of April 2014 to develop an action plan for the recovery of the Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis).
Strasbourg. Wetlands International and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust welcome today’s adoption by the European Parliament of a new Regulation to address the impacts of invasive alien species on EU biodiversity.
Wetlands International, CARE Nederland, Cordaid, the Netherlands Red Cross, and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, said today they were deeply concerned about the increasing risks climate change poses to people, reflected in the latest report by scientists on climate impacts. The agencies welcome the reference to the value of ecosystem-based adaptation.
By Susanne Boom - The grassy hillsides and vast forests around Rwambu wetland in south-western Uganda are not only a beautiful sight to see - it is fertile land which sustains agricultural based livelihoods, such as coffee, tea, bananas and beans. The Rwambu wetland is also a success story of integrated nature-based solutions.
Indonesia plans to restore the eroding areas of its coastline in Java and Bali with nature based approaches inspired on Dutch methods. Also other vulnerable coasts in Indonesia will be looked at. The Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF), environmental organisation Wetlands International and research institute Deltares last week Friday formally agreed to collaborate in the effort to tackle the erosion problems of Indonesian coasts.
By Bas Tinhout
In Southeast Asia about 25% of plantations are currently on peat and some companies have more than 75% of their plantations on these carbon rich soils. But an increasing number of palm oil and pulp wood producing giants are announcing their commitments to no deforestation and no peatland conversion. What are their real intentions for peatlands?
Yesterday, a week-long exchange visit about integrated coastal management by the government of Indonesia to the Netherlands was formally opened by Wim Kuijken, Deltacommissioner of the Netherlands. Both Wim Kuijken and Mr. Eko Rudianto, Director of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia highlighted ‘Building with Nature’ as an effective approach to sustainable coastal management.
In September 2013, seven European organisations joined forces to create Wetlands International – European Association. This new element of the global Wetlands International network will focus on the development and implementation of EU policy, and on its effects and impacts on global wetlands.
Press release / Press invitation
- 14 March - A high-level delegation from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia (MMAF) will visit the Netherlands from 17 to 21 March to learn how the Dutch have applied ‘Building with Nature’ techniques for flood prevention. The Director General of Marine, Coast and Small Islands, Dr Sudirman Saad, M.Hum, and the advisor of the Minister, Mr Ukay Karyadi joined by five executives, are interested in meeting with Dutch coastal and delta experts, who specialize in the integration of infrastructure, nature and society.
By Femke Tonneijck -
It was an early Saturday morning in Timbul Sloko, at the North Coast of central Java, Indonesia, and not just any Saturday. It was a day of hope. The community gathered together to discuss the rehabilitation of their lost land.
By Taej Mundkur -
I recently got the chance to experience the natural beauty of Djoudj National Park in Senegal for the first time and see its conservation needs. The Djoudj is a paradise for over a million waterbirds and a lot of other biodiversity. It provides an ideal setting for developing sustainable solutions such as tourism that should allow the surrounding villages, visitors and nature to benefit from this natural wonder.
By Szabolcs Nagy and Stephan Flink -
Wetlands International’s team is currently working on the 6th edition of the AEWA Conservation Status Report, which summarises the available knowledge about the size and trends of migratory waterbird populations.
By Szabolcs Nagy
The second stage of the Grand West Asian Wintering Waterbird Survey in Saudi Arabia has covered the Red Sea coast between Jeddah and Jizan. During our survey, we have visited the Southern Cornish of Jeddah, the Shoaybah Al-Mudaylif Coast, the coast near to Al Qunfodah, the Al-Shoqaiq Cost, Ras Altarfa and the southern and northern cornishes of Jizan.
By Paul Brotherton
To celebrate World Wetlands Day 2014, Kenya's Tana River Delta Ramsar Site was officially launched with a public celebration attended by over 500 people.
Nieuw project in de Filippijnen Rode Kruis, Care Nederland en Wetlands International.
De Postcode Loterij stelt een extra bijdrage van meer dan 2 miljoen euro beschikbaar om inwoners van de Filipijnen beter voor te bereiden op natuurrampen. Dat werd gisteravond tijdens het Goed Geld Gala bekend gemaakt. Door tyfoon Haiyan, die eind vorig jaar over de eilandengroep heen raasde, werd opnieuw pijnlijk duidelijk hoe belangrijk dit soort hulp is. Duizenden Filipijnen kwamen om het leven en miljoenen raakten in een klap alles kwijt, hun huis en bron van inkomsten.
The Hague, The Netherlands - With the societal and environmental costs of wetland degradation already huge and growing fast, Wetlands International brought over 100 current and prospective partners and supporters together to explore opportunities for positive action to sustain and restore wetlands in a reception at the atmospheric De Glazen Zaal (Glass Room) in the Hague. The evening featured an interactive marketplace to showcase some of our current initiatives, plus distinguished speakers and interviews with current partners on how our work with different sectors is helping to protect and restore wetlands. In addition to celebrating World Wetlands Day, the event also featured the launch of Wetlands International’s new logo.
By Han Winterwerp
In my previous blogs, we discussed that a healthy mangrove-mud coast is dynamic, and how these dynamics are controlled by the tide and the waves. In a healthy coastal system, these processes, which bring sediment towards the coast and take the sediments away, are more or less balanced.
Jane Madgwick, CEO Wetlands International
When you think of the Sahel in Africa, what picture does it conjure up? Dry sandy areas with scattered trees and perhaps hungry-looking children looking after cattle and goats? Maybe fewer of you imagine big river systems, heaving with fish, and lined with flooded forests? The magic of this zone, which stretches across Africa and borders the Sahara, is that it is both very dry and very wet. And that nature and people depend on both the drylands and wetlands and move in-between according to the seasons.
Today, people and organisations all over the world celebrate World Wetlands Day. The theme this year is “Wetlands & Agriculture: Partners for Growth”. This day was created by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits.
The Global Freshwater Fish BioBlitz kicked off on World Wetlands Day to engage nature lovers in freshwater fish conservation. The Freshwater Fish Specialist Group (FFSG), of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Wetlands International, has joined forces with other international groups to introduce this new global initiative.
The recent outbreak of the H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza is causing many victims amongst poultry and wild birds in the Republic of Korea. The Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds has issued a statement on this outbreak saying that there is currently no evidence that wild birds are the source of this virus. Instead the focus of disease control actions must be on the domestic poultry sector.
A new online Atlas of freshwater biodiversity presenting spatial information and species distribution patterns was launched today. The Atlas is an output of BioFresh, an EU-funded project supported by Wetlands International that is putting together the widely dispersed information about life in our rivers and lakes, to better understand, manage and protect our freshwaters for generations to come.
In the Malaysia Chronicle of 17 January 2014, Sarawak Oil Palm Plantation Owners Association (Soppoa) mentions that there is no credible scientific basis for companies to divest from palm oil plantations on peat soils. The article refers to the announcement of Wilmar about a month ago to undertake "no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation" in their palm oil trades. Wetlands International welcomes Wilmar’s decision and gives a brief recap in this article of the science base.
Brussels. The European Commission’s proposal for a climate and energy package for the period between 2020 and 2030 may throw the door wide open to imports of dirty fuels from tar sands and endanger sustainability criteria for biofuels.
By Szabolcs Nagy
The 5th Conservation Status Report produced by Wetlands International for the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) highlighted that our understanding of the status of wintering waterbirds is the weakest in the West Asian / East African flyway. This is partially a consequence of insufficient capacity in the region. To help tackle the problem we are supporting the development of strategies for countries in the region with the help of the MAVA Foundation.
Ede/Bogor. Wetlands International applauds the Indonesian court ruling which fined palm oil company PT Kallista Alam 114 billion Rupiah (approximately 7 million Euros) for illegally burning peat swamp forests in Tripa/Aceh.
By Szabolcs Nagy
“Migratory waterbirds connecting wetlands and people” is the motto of the Flyway Programme of Wetlands International. This was put into practice during a workshop organised for site managers and local NGO leaders along the East Atlantic Flyway in Africa, held between 14-18 December in the Djoudj National Park, Senegal.
By Bas Tinhout
In the tropics, peat swamp forests are often logged and converted to oil palm and pulp wood plantations. This results in adverse effects on the natural resource base of local communities and impacts the biodiversity, water regulation and carbon storage functions of peatlands. As an alternative, paludiculture is a sustainable form of agriculture which enables the productive use of rewetted peatlands. It will prevent the oxidation of the peat carbon, thus preventing the massive natural organic carbon store from turning into the greenhouse gas CO2.
By Han Winterwerp and Thorsten Balke
If you ever visit a mangrove-mud coast, you will see that the mangroves grow more or less between the waterlines at mean high water and the waterline at the highest tidal level occurring in a year. Understanding the relation between tides and mangroves is therefore essential to rehabilitation efforts.
By Bakary Kone, Wetlands International Mali
The 38 floodplain forests of Mali’s Inner Niger Delta are very important to the economy and livelihoods of the 1.5 million people who live there. They contain much of the natural wealth of the delta and are therefore referred to locally as ‘banks’.
Ministers Meeting at global climate talks in Warsaw should heed the lessons of past disasters.
The following joint statement on the need for increased public adaptation financing was released today by The Nature Conservancy, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), BirdLife International and Wetlands International, at the United Nations global climate change conference now underway in Warsaw, Poland.
Outsiders and newcomers to the United Nations climate negotiations are easily overwhelmed by the complexity of discussions around land use and forestry. But this might change in 2015.
Author: Yus Rusila Noor, Wetlands International, Indonesia
Often conservation work starts with individual initiatives. The stories of Haji Madsahi and Babah Akong emphasize the value of local knowledge and initiative for the restoration of coastal ecosystems. They have both received awards for their work and Wetlands International now works with them, so that their efforts can be further scaled up.
A controversial report from a technical committee of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is under-estimating the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by palm oil grown on tropical peatlands by nearly 50%, according to NGOs.
Authors: Femke Tonneijck, Wetlands International; Bregje van Wesenbeeck, Deltares; and Mark Spalding, The Nature Conservancy
Inhabitants of low lying delta areas are particularly exposed to flooding and erosion caused by storms and hurricanes. These pressures increase with climate change and sea level rise. Coastal wetlands, such as mangroves, can play a key role in damage mitigation during disasters, as well as in stabilising coastlines. They also contribute to aquaculture and fisheries. Integration of ecosystem-based coastal protection in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies and resulting measures to conserve these landscapes are essential if mangroves are to keep protecting us. Full article featured in Outreach Magazine.
Author: Marcel Silvius
Oil palm cultivation on peatlands is seen as an attractive option for many plantation developers in Southeast Asia. Not only is the land extensively available, the soils – despite the poor soil fertility – are somehow “working” for oil palm cultivation. Peatlands can therefore be perceived as lucrative and attractive for expansion of oil palm plantations.
So why then is oil palm on peat a path to disaster? We highlight two major impacts in this article. Firstly, peatland drainage for oil palm results in substantial carbon emissions. Secondly it results in flooding and land loss as a result of soil subsidence. We also offer some solutions.
Full article featured in sustainable Palm Oil: Conversation and Debate
Medan, Indonesia – 11th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil
Oil palm growers, the food, cosmetics and oil industry, governments, scientists and environmental and social groups from all over the world participate this week in the 11th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT11 RSPO). The main theme of this year’s meeting is “RSPO Standard 2013. Understand. Apply. Embrace”. Wetlands International has been involved in the review process of the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) and will actively participate in the Roundtable meeting.
By Denise Cheah
In order to better understand the Badas peat dome in Brunei, we needed to clear a path through the peat forest, stick monitoring pipes into the ground at several intervals and take measurements. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, I’ve never been so wrong in my entire life.
Cambridge, UK. A new study maps out the amount of carbon stored by mangrove ecosystems in various parts of the world.
India's disaster preparedness has succeeded in dramatically reducing the loss of lives of cyclone Phailin last weekend. While the power of Phailin was a category stronger than the 1999 Odisha cyclone, India timely evacuated nearly a million people from the coastline.
International Day for Disaster Reduction
Today is the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2013, a UN event to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Wetlands International celebrates this day and highlights the critical role wise use and restoration of wetland ecosystems such as mangroves, river basins, marshes, and lakes can play in reducing the impacts of natural hazards like floods, droughts, storm surges and wind waves
Sobé and other villages in the Mali Inner Niger Delta are threatened by the desert's sand. Communities are forced to rebuild their homes every two years to avoid burial by sand dunes, which are moving as a result of degradation of the Savannah.
By Etwin Kuslati, Wetlands International Indonesia
What do you do when your house is slowly being swallowed by the sea???
This is the question that Wetlands International was asked to advise on by the community of Timbul Sloko Village, on the North coast of Central Java, Indonesia.
How to get the attention from the government, private sector, communities and press at the same time for water availability problems downstream the river? In Kenya local indigenous peoples organizations managed to come up with an eye-catching initiative. They organized a Camel Caravan.
By Pieter van Eijk and Alizia Kamani
This September Wetlands International officially joined PEDRR, a global alliance of UN agencies, NGOs and specialist institutes which plays a vital role in steering the policy and practice in disaster risk reduction (DRR). Through this alliance, Wetlands International can effectively influence and make recommendations to the Hyogo Framework for Action and the UNISDR, the UN office which coordinates global activities on reducing the risk of disasters.
The Niger and Nile basins are areas with high water stress and increasing competition for water resources. For that reason these regions are in focus under a large EU-funded project called IMPACT2C which seeks to systematically quantify climate impacts, vulnerabilities, risks and economic costs as well as potential adaptive responses under a global average surface temperature change of 2°C. Wetlands International is one of the partners in this effort and has its focus in the Niger basin.
Vienna, Austria – As part of the European River Restoration Conference, five European river basins committed themselves to working together. The river basins include: the Arpa in Armenia, Irpen in Ukraine, Irwell in England, Orbigo in Spain, and Rhone in France. Under the facilitation of the European Centre for River Restoration, the five parties will develop and share their best practices and knowledge in order to stimulate larger scale river restoration.
By Han Winterwerp
In my previous blogs, I have tried to convince you that the erosion of mangrove-mud coasts is directly related to thoughtless land-use. Though the observations are self-evident, we need to understand the underlying physical processes before we can think of mitigating measures. And that is only possible if we understand the behavior of a healthy mangrove-mud coast.
Vienna, Austria - Over 300 delegates gathered last week for the European River Restoration Conference. Leading policy makers, scientists and restoration practitioners shared experiences, identified the key future challenges and celebrated successes in improving the state of Europe’s rivers. The Rhine River was recognised with the 1st European Riverprize while finalists from more recent river initiatives in central and southern Europe were highly acclaimed. Distinguished keynote speakers including EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik were impressed by the growing body of knowledge and good practice examples that the European Centre of River Restoration and its partners brought together that is essential to support the implementation of many EU policy objectives.
Demak district, Indonesia. This week will see the start of the construction of 2 permeable structures to protect the severely eroding coastline of Timbul Sloko village in Northern Java.
Stockholm – WASH (drinking water supply, sanitation and hygiene) relies on and impacts water. Therefore, environmental sustainability needs to be at the core of WASH practice. Wetlands International featured our experiences reaching nature-based solutions and sought out additional partners to help transform the WASH sector at an event during Stockholm World Water Week.
Bonn 29 August 2013 – The Waterbird Harvest Specialist Group (WHSG) affiliated to Wetlands International was re-launched on the 28th of August 2013 at a special session on waterbird management at the 31st Congress of the International Union of Game Biologists which took place in Brussels, Belgium on the 27 – 29 August 2013.
by Jane Madgwick, CEO Wetlands International
It’s thanks to Tajikistan that it’s the UN International Year of Water Cooperation. Through a string of events, the world’s attention is focused on the water crisis and the urgent need for humanity to tackle it through improved cooperation – between nation states, across and between sectors, industry, government and civil society.
Wetlands International CEO Jane Madgwick is participating in a high-level panel on water cooperation for ecosystems at the International Conference on Water Cooperation in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. As part of the International Year of Water Cooperation, we are attending to highlight the urgent need to safeguard and restore wetland ecosystems as a key strategy to address water security challenges.
- By Stefan Verschure
I spent 4 months doing fieldwork in Timbul Sloko, a small village in Demak District, on the North coast of Central Java (Indonesia). I was there as part of a Wetlands International project to restore the eroding mud coast of the village through hybrid engineering.
As part of TEEB for Water and Wetlands
, Ritesh Kumar, the Conservation Programme Manager of Wetlands International, South Asia recently shared his views on how wetlands provide products that satisfy the livelihoods of many communities and therefore help to alleviate poverty. He argues for development polices and strategies that recognise this value. Read the interview
by Anand Chandrasekhar.
A new report by The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International shows that mangroves can adapt to rising sea levels by building up soils in some locations, allaying fears that mangroves may be lost as sea levels rise. This is important because mangroves provide risk reduction services against coastal hazards such as waves and storm surges.
By Paul Brotherton
As part of a training course on river restoration sponsored by the RESTORE project, I recently visited the Waal River, a main branch of the Rhine River, flowing through the Netherlands. Here the Dutch are making ‘Room for the River’, restoring floodplains to reduce the risks of floods and creating benefits for people and nature. On the heels of recent catastrophic floods in Central Europe, this approach deserves a closer look if Europe is to meet many of its growing environmental and social policy challenges, including climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
By Han Winterwerp
In my previous blogs, I described the large losses of our mangrove heritage, in spite of the great value of these ecosystems. Today, I argue that these losses are caused by thoughtless land-use.
Sumatra, Indonesia. The health and climate impacts of large peatland and forest fires in Sumatra provide yet another harrowing reminder of the unsustainability of palm oil and pulp wood plantations on peat.
Saint Louis, Senegal - Wetlands International is joining forces with the Senegal River Basin Authority to identify the many important services that wetlands provide to people and nature in the Senegal River Basin. In order to meet the growing water needs in the increasingly arid Sahel of West Africa, this partnership will identify how natural ‘green’ infrastructure wetlands including seasonal floodplains, swamps and lakes can be used to support more sustainable livelihoods for people in the four countries of the basin (Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal) while adapting to climate change and protecting nature.
by Jane Madgwick, CEO Wetlands International
A week before US President Obama descends on Senegal to encourage the tracking down of terrorists in the region, I joined our Africa team and my international Supervisory Council there to investigate issues related to a more fundamental security challenge – relating to increasingly scarce water resources. As we witnessed in Mali last year, water security, human conflicts and mass migrations are closely intertwined in this fragile Sahelian zone.
By Vera Coelho
The round of applause at the end of the REDD+ negotiations in Bonn reflected the relief of the Parties at having concluded work on several difficult issues. But their efforts will not stop deforestation and forest degradation.
Opportunities for climate change mitigation through peatland rehabilitation and lessons learned for future agreements under the UNFCCC were discussed at a side event during the Bonn climate negotiations.
At the 4th session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, a green elephant seemed to be standing at the back of the plenary room.
By Vera Coelho
Wetlands International warmly welcomes the extension of Indonesia’s moratorium on new forest concessions signed on the 13th May by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The extension, however, does not address the shortcomings of the previous moratorium.
By Han Winterwerp and Bregje van Wesenbeeck
In my first blog, I introduced the term “ecosystem services”, which has become a popular way to refer to the value of ecosystems. This is an important concept as it provides a counter-argument to the often narrow-minded and short-eyed approach of economics.
A newly published study shows that three species of waterbirds (tufted duck, goosander and goldeneye) are shifting their wintering grounds northwards along the North-West Europe flyway in response to rising temperatures. Rising temperatures due to climate change and shifting ranges for wintering waterbirds have profound implications for the conservation of site networks along the flyways and highlights the importance of adaptive management approaches.
By Han Winterwerp -
In my previous blog, I have tried to explain the importance of mangrove mud coasts. Of course, these coasts are beautiful, exotic environments, with rare species, such as the mud skipper and numerous crabs, as well as rare birds.
By Han Winterwerp -
I am an engineer. I am a civil engineer and I work with “cohesive sediment”, which is a fancy term for mud. Mud is all over the place, in lakes and rivers, in river mouths (estuaries) and inlets, along the coast and in the deep ocean.
March 22, 2013: On World Water Day 2013, water issues are more critical than ever, and affect everyone around the globe. The UN has proclaimed 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation, and Wetlands International is doing its part to promote the role of wetland ecosystems as natural water infrastructure.
Last week delegates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Conference of Parties (COP16) in Bangkok, Thailand, agreed to stronger conservation measures for the West African manatee. The proposal was led by Benin, Sierra Leone and Senegal with support from Wetlands International.
Wetlands International welcomes the European Parliament’s vote on rules for accounting for greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from agriculture and forestry. Emissions and removals from cropland and grazing land management will have to be accounted for, but accounting for wetland drainage and rewetting remains voluntary.
By Azucena Luna Ordóñez
For those who have all the basic services, it may be hard to conceive of the extreme poverty faced by the indigenous K'iche communities. My first experience in the Bio-rights initiative was to visit Chicorral, the most remote and difficult to access community, and smallest with only 20 families.
This article, originally entitled "Many millions of people will benefit from the restoration of the Ruoergai Plateau wetlands" is published in the book "The Ecosystem Promise" by Meindert Brouwer.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands - Growing recognition that solving the looming water crisis will require innovative thinking and new partnerships brought experts from several sectors to Rotterdam last week. On the eve of World Wetlands Day and with the UN International Year of Water Cooperation as a backdrop, Wetlands International, WBCSD and the City of Rotterdam co-hosted international leaders from business, government and the NGO sector to launch the “Get the solutions flowing” campaign. The campaign will run through 2013 and aims to catalyse an Agenda for Action that turns talk into action on behalf of natural water infrastructure.
Geneva, Switzerland – A new report on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), co-authored by Wetlands International, emphasises the enormous economic value of wetlands. TEEB For Water and Wetlands highlights the key role played by wetlands as natural infrastructure and the multitude of enormously productive services they provide around the world. The continued loss of wetlands illustrates the need for improved policy making and business decision making that accounts for their true value.
Ede, The Netherlands – Wetlands International owes great respect to the Counsellor of Honour of our organisation, Professor Geoffrey V. T. Matthews, who passed away on 22 January 2013 at the age of 89 years. Professor Mathews served as Honorary Director of the International Wildfowl Research Bureau (one of the predecessor organisations of Wetlands International), succeeding Dr Luc Hoffmann in that role in 1969.
By Audrie J. Siahainenia
Mangrove ecosystems are by definition muddy. Land and sea animals happily live and reproduce in these coastal forests, but such muddy conditions can present a bit of challenge for researchers.
Ede, The Netherlands - Wetlands International is deeply saddened by the loss of Prof. Tatsuichi Tsujii, he was a much loved member of the international wetland community and an inspiration to so many. He was a former Supervisory Council member of Wetlands International and the president of Wetlands International Japan. Prof. Tatsuichi Tsujii passed away on the 15th of January at the age of 81.
Ede, the Netherlands - Mangroves can help protect coastal communities by reducing the height and power of waves generated by storms, and by reducing coastal flooding during tropical cyclones, a new report by The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International reveals. Added to other roles in erosion protection and diminishing the power of waves, mangroves can therefore play an important role in coastal defence and disaster risk reduction.
Dakar (SEN) / Ede (NL) / Naryan-Mar (RU) – A new initiative to protect migratory waterbirds flying between the Arctic and Africa has been launched by Wetlands International. Funded by the Arcadia Fund, the three-year initiative will engage local people and governments to develop a coherent approach to the management of the wetland sites used by the birds along the flyway.
- By Vera Coelho -
The United Nations’ climate summit in Doha has come to an end after two weeks of heated and protracted negotiations. Amongst limited progress, the general trend has been to delay decisions and refer further discussions to next year.
Ede, the Netherlands - Wetlands International congratulates Jan van der Winden on his Herman Klomp prize for his long-term commitment to the protection of birds. In collaboration with Wetlands International, Jan was instrumental in the success of the Follow the Bird! initiative.
- By Vera Coelho -
The first week of the Doha Climate Conference is over, and so is the SBSTA – the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. After a relatively slow start, REDD+ negotiators really started feeling the time pressure, as the closure of the week drew nearer and several unresolved issues remained.
By Vera Coelho -
The first few days in Doha at the Climate Conference have been relatively quiet. After a full day of opening ceremonies, delegates sat down for real business on Tuesday and Wednesday. Discussions focused on organisation of work and future ways forward but now that the first half of the first week has passed, one can definitely feel a change in pace.
Brussels, Belgium – Wetlands International is deeply concerned about the European Commission's announced approval of a biofuel sustainability scheme for palm oil certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This development will open the EU doors to palm oil under the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) without any guarantees that this will contribute to climate change mitigation or safeguard forests and tropical peatlands.
Doha, Qatar – Wetlands International urges action to mitigate CO2 emissions from peatlands, as thousands of delegates flock to the Middle East to negotiate global policies on climate change. Peatland restoration and conservation action, stimulated by UNFCCC incentives, could significantly contribute to closing the so-called “emissions gap”.
By Vera Coelho.
I admit it: before joining Wetlands International I had never even seen a mangrove. I knew about these funny trees with their roots in brackish water, but I also admit that I had no idea of the amazing ecosystems they are. All of that changed recently, when I had the opportunity to join colleagues from seven of our Wetlands International offices at a meeting in our Indonesia office, in Bogor.
By Marie-Jose Vervest
Along with Yus Rusila Noor of our Indonesia office, I recently participated in the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from 22 – 25 October 2012 as part of the Partners for Resilience consortium. Our participation was a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of healthy ecosystems for resilient livelihoods and the use of ‘natural infrastructure’ as a buffer against extreme events.
By Ritesh Kumar
As the Conservation Programme Manager for South Asia, I represented Wetlands International at the 11th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India that concluded on October 20, 2012. Going from one side event to the other, either presenting or joining discussion panels, this conference in my home country was a very satisfying experience for me. With you, I’d like to share several positive outcomes and actions:
Brussels, Belgium – The European Commission announced yesterday that it will not consider indirect land use change (ILUC) in sustainability requirements for biofuels. Wetlands International is deeply disappointed. This proposal undermines the objective of EU biofuels policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While the additional decision to limit the use of food crops as fuel is welcome, the omission of ILUC factors has direct detrimental consequences for both wetlands and climate.
Ede, the Netherlands - Wetlands International welcomes the approval of the new carbon trading category “Wetlands Restoration and Conservation” (WRC) by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The new category provides a strong incentive for private investment in conservation and restoration of carbon rich wetlands.
Hyderabad, India – The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) conference in Hyderabad, India 8 - 19 October is an important opportunity to improve the linkages between wetlands and water management. On 9 October (13:15 in Room 1.02, Level 1) Wetlands International is hosting an event ‘Wetlands, Water and Aichi Targets’ which will identify mechanisms for the water and wetlands management sectors to cooperate in order to effectively achieve the Aichi Target outcomes, which have high significance for wetlands and water management.
Edinburgh, October 5th 2012. Wetlands International supports the IUCN UK Peatland Programme’s request to the government of the United Kingdom to include Wetland Drainage and Rewetting in their national accounting of greenhouse gas emissions.
By Aprianto Masjhur
Peatlands have been recognised for their high carbon storage and their potential to emit a huge amount of carbon emissions once they are drained. Their annual carbon emissions of 2 billion tonnes are a paramount issue in the global effort to mitigate climate change. However, the perilous and far-reaching consequences from peat drainage activities are not limited to carbon loss only. Another key concern that so far has been given insufficient attention is the issue of ‘subsidence’.
New York - In September 2011 Wetlands International announced its Commitment to Action under the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which is ‘Securing Wetland Carbon Stores for Climate’. The aim of this global NGO is to achieve emission reductions in the order of at least 100 megatons by 2015 through the conservation and rehabilitation of carbon-rich wetlands. Now, one year later, they are well on the way to achieving their commitment.
This article "Issues in the Inner Niger Delta: Interview with Bakary Kone, Director of Wetlands International Mali Office" is published in the book 'The Ecosystem Promise' by Meindert Brouwer.
Ede, the Netherlands - A new report by The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International proves that mangrove forests protect coastal populations and infrastructure against wind and swell waves. Preventing damage to coastal infrastructure and flooding, mangroves reduce wave height by as much as 66% over 100 metres of forest. With coastal populations vulnerable to the impacts of extreme events such as storms and hurricanes, these organisations say mangrove management needs to be included in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts in coastal areas worldwide.
Stockholm, Sweden - Wetlands International calls for action to address urgent water security issues that are undermining the health and livelihoods of millions of people through our participation at World Water Week, which features the theme “Water and Food Security.” As part of high level discussions on the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, and in order to draw attention to the emerging phenomenon of ‘water grabbing’, we are showcasing our work in Mali where the wetlands of the Inner Niger Delta are critical for the food and water security of over one million people.
Bucharest, Romania - At the recently concluded 11th Ramsar Conference of the Parties in Bucharest, Romania, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) signed Resolutions of Cooperation with both the Ramsar Secretariat and African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) to work together in order to better promote Arctic wetlands and bring greater attention to their importance. As a close partner of Ramsar, CAFF and AEWA, Wetlands International welcomes these agreements.
By Maria Nuutinen, FAO
Why should we keep peatlands wet? If they have been drained, why should we bother to rewet them? The answer is that peatlands provide huge benefits that often go unrecognised. Presentations from China and Belarus in a side event co-organised by Wetlands International at the Ramsar Convention Conference of the Parties (COP11) gave excellent overviews of the benefits as well as challenges of peatland conservation and rewetting for climate change mitigation.
Bucharest, Romania - The 11th meeting of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands concluded last week in Bucharest with the adoption of 22 resolutions on issues addressing the wise use of wetlands in 162 signatory countries. Wetlands International welcomes several decisions including the recognition of the overuse of pesticides and growing impacts of foreign-based land investment on wetlands. While many of the resolutions provide needed guidance to address threats facing wetlands, resolutions needed to address cross-sectoral challenges such as climate change and energy remain weak.
By Vera Coelho
What would you do if your community was hit by a tsunami? When confronted with disaster, human responses vary: despair, anger, disbelief, sorrow. Planting trees might not be the first thing that comes to mind.
By Paul Brotherton, from the Ramsar Convention in Bucharest
The overuse of pesticides in rice paddies in Southeast Asia is currently fueling a devastating pest outbreak epidemic. Due to the urgent need for the Ramsar Convention to address these issues, we felt it important to present the facts supporting it. Therefore, Wetlands International's team from its India, Argentina and the Netherlands offices held an informational event together with partners FAO, IRRI and IWMI.
By Paul Brotherton, from the Ramsar Convention in Bucharest
Delegates and observers filled the beautiful Rosetti Hall of Romania’s Palace of the Parliament for the opening ceremony of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Wetlands International Launched the First Interactive Online Database on Waterbird Population Estimates at Ramsar COP11
11th meeting of the Ramsar Convention (COP11) 6-13 July 2012 in Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, Romania - Wetlands International will press for adoption of resolutions at the Ramsar Conference of Parties that call upon countries to take action on some of the most pressing challenges facing wetlands, such as energy production and pesticide use in rice fields. As an International Organisation Partner (IOP) we will also urge for a climate change resolution that commits Contracting Parties to take up the newly available incentives to invest in the protection, restoration and sustainable use of their peatlands, as part of their strategies to address climate change.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - During Rio+20 in Brazil, the 'Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Water and Wetlands Initiative' will be launched in a side event on 15 June. This initiative utilises the TEEB approach to generate a better understanding of the ecosystem service values of water and wetlands to encourage additional policy momentum and business commitment for their conservation, investment and wise use.
Bogor, Indonesia - Wetlands International welcomes the decision by the Indonesian government to protect the Kallista Alam peat swamp forest area (1650Ha) in Tripa, Aceh. We also recognise the issue identified by Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto (head of Indonesia’s climate team) who mentioned that "The case of Kallista Alam in Aceh is the typical problem we are facing.” Wetlands International fears for the many similar cases in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
Buenos Aires, Argentina - Wetlands International in Argentina has become a member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy to help addressing the loss of wetlands and their values in the guidelines for responsible soy. Wetland areas are severely threatened by the expansion of soy cultivation due to water extraction, pollution and reclamation, with considerable costs for society.
Bonn, 17 May 2012 - Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the non-governmental organisation Wetlands International launch ‘The Organic Soils and Peatlands Climate Change Mitigation Initiative’. The Initiative has been established to increase awareness about how the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of peatlands can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, and to facilitate strategic actions that can lead to measurable progress in this area. The Initiative will be launched during the intersessional climate session of the United Nations in Bonn (13–25 May).
La Rochelle, France - The 5th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), 14-18 May 2012, La Rochelle, France, organised by AEWA Secretariat, will kick off shortly in La Rochelle in France. The five-day meeting carries the theme “Migratory waterbirds and people – sharing wetlands”. Wetlands International will contribute to this theme by three publication releases and two key events.
Wetlands International expressed its deep concern about the proposed 53km Danube regulation project in Croatia in a letter to Croatia's Minister for Environment and Nature Protection Mirela Holy. The NGO understands that this regulation would have a severe impact upon the unique river landscape and the most highly valued floodplain area and forests of the entire Danube.
Brussels, Belgium - CEO Jane Madgwick of Wetlands International spoke on The Future of Europe’s Waters at a European Parliament Interactive Seminar chaired by MEP Giancarlo Scotta earlier this month. Other speakers included Nicola Natoro (Directorate General Environment, European Commission), Martin Scheele, (Directorate General Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission) and Antoine Poupard of the French Farmer’s Association. The seminar was sponsored by Wetlands International member organization FACE, the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU.
By Ward Hagemeijer, Corporate Relations Manager
First impressions from the NGO science partnership workshop with Shell, 4-5 April 2012, Texel.
Palembang, Indonesia - The meeting of the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) on waterbirds has designated the Sembilang National Park in South Sumatra as ‘network site’ for waterbird conservation. The Indonesia office of Wetlands International will from now on host the national secretariat for migratory bird management.
A firestorm is sweeping across Tripa’s protected peatswamp forests, endangering the last few hunderd Orangutans remaining in this threatened area. The fires seem a direct result from draining for illegal palm oil expansion into the area. Wetlands International is saddened by the devastation of this forest; the organisation has called for many years for a better conservation of the precious old growth forest.
Forest biodiversity – Towards a Green Economy
Wetlands International is co-hosting an international conference to promote sustainable management of Brunei’s peat forests and mangrove forests on 22-23 March at Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The event is organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam through the Forestry Department and is organised in conjunction with this year’s World Forestry Day celebrations on 21 March 2012.
Marseille - The combined impacts of new infrastructure schemes and a warmer climate will cause extremely low water levels in the West Sahelian Niger River, impacting the millions downstream and the wider economy. Extremely low water levels in the Niger River are expected to become a regular phenomenon. Wetlands International will present the latest figures based on research with partners. The organisation calls for a moratorium both on new infrastructure schemes and on the extension of existing ones in this water-scarce part of Africa.
Presentation of the new facts and forecasts about the impacts of planned dams as well as climate change on the Niger River marshes and the people and nature depending on these.
Tuesday 13 March 2012
15.00 – 15.30
Press centre World Water Forum, Marseille
Ede, The Netherlands, February 16, 2012
Wetlands International is calling on the Netherlands to commit to its international obligations for the depoldering of the Hedwigepolder, part of an important delta in the country. Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Mr. Bleker, meets Euro commissioner of Environment Janez Potocnik today to discuss this. The delta concerns a vital and unique nature area of international importance that we should safeguard, says the non-profit organization. The depoldering was agreed to compensate environmental damage caused by the deepening of the estuary the Western Scheldt.
See also the Dutch release.
Ede, 15 februari 2012
Wetlands International roept Nederland op haar internationale verplichtingen na te komen voor ontpoldering van de Hedwigepolder. Over dit onderwerp spreekt Staatssecretaris Bleker van Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie morgen met Eurocommisaris Janez Potocnik van Milieu. De Zeeuwse Delta is een vitaal en uniek natuurgebied van internationaal belang waar we zeer zuinig op moeten zijn, aldus de non-profit organisatie. De ontpoldering is afgesproken ter compensatie van natuurschade veroorzaakt door de verdieping van de Westerschelde.
My name is Mamadou. I am a journalist working for 'What If We Change', an interactive video platform which gives insights in the daily lives of people that depend on ecosystems such as wetlands. I am your eyes and ears in Mali where I work together with Wetlands International to improve water management and support ecosystem restoration in the Inner Niger Delta. By sharing my films and stories I hope to draw your attention for the millions of people that rely on the sustainable use of this beautiful wetland.
Netherlands, 2 Feb. 2012. With a well attended event in The Hague, the Netherlands, Wetlands International presented its plans for the coming years. Different speakers showed the effective approach of the organisation as a broker between science, policy and practice; between field level challenges and global trends and solutions and between different sectors and interests.
Welcome on World Wetlands Day! A day to celebrate the role of wetlands in contributing to biodiversity and human well-being. Wetlands International was instrumental in campaigning for and creating the Ramsar Convention and was present in this event in 1971 in Iran when it was formed. The vision and emphasised the crucial role of wetlands in contributing to sustainable development. This is still our message today…but more urgent!
22 December 2011. The recent flooding disaster in Mindanao, Philippines is undeniably a result of extreme rainfall brought on shore by the cyclone Washi. But this is not the entire story; the loss of forests, establishment of plantations with exotic tree species, widespread illegal mining operations and degradation of wetlands has decreased water retention and increased flash-floods and mudslides across the country. As a result, heavy rainfall may turn into disastrous flooding within hours.
Durban, South Africa, 11 Dec-2011. The Durban Climate Summit has delivered an overall rather meager agreement. A positive outcome has though come forward to reduce emissions from peatlands, both in REDD+ from developing as under the Kyoto Protocol for developed countries. Wetlands International celebrates this result. Peatlands represent 6% of global emissions and until now, no incentive existed under the UNFCCC for reduce these.
By Susanna Tol, from the UN Climate Summit in Durban. For two weeks, I am at the climate summit in Durban, meeting governmental delegations from all over the world to get the emissions from wetland degradation addressed.
Slimbridge (UK) - Widespread declines in birds that spend most of their lives at sea are alarming conservationists. Seven species of seaduck that spend the northern winter in the Baltic – a key non-breeding area – have dropped in number by up to 65% in 15 years, without any clear explanation.
Durban, South Africa - Peatlands must be given much stronger attention at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa, calls NGO Wetlands International. Peatlands are the world’s most concentrated and important reservoirs of terrestrial organic carbon and a fast growing source of emissions. They should become ‘no-go zones’.
Mopti, Mali - Communities in Mali’s Inner Niger Delta are facing an emerging drought. At this time of the year the Niger River in West Africa is normally reaching its peak, delivering water for millions of people including the 1.4 million living in Mali’s Inner Niger Delta. This year, water levels are drastically low compared to previous years. Low rainfall may not be the only cause.
Wetlands International is deeply saddened by the loss of Mark Barter, one of its Associate Experts. The world of waterbird and wetland conservation along the East Asian - Australasian Flyway has lost a pioneering figure and a role model with his passing away on 21 November 2011. Mark always held a passion for shorebirds throughout his life, helping to guide the development of the “National Plan for Shorebird Conservation in Australia” (1987), before becoming the second Chairman of the Australasian Wader Studies Group (AWSG) from 1987 to 1997.
Durban, South Africa - Wetlands International will be present at the upcoming climate talks in Durban (28 November – 9 December). This global NGO will show the important role that wetlands can play to adapt to climate change, with specific attention for wetlands in the dry and vulnerable parts of Africa. Wetlands International also continues its call for incentives to conserve and restore carbon-rich wetlands peat soils under a new climate treaty.
Ede, The Netherlands - Wetlands International is very proud to see that all four of its projects are listed among the 20 most successful Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funded projects. With more than 460 GEF-funded projects competing, this is a great honour.
Wetlands International is proud to have been awarded the seal of approval of the Central Bureau on Fundraising (CBF) for trustworthy fundraising and expenditures.
Amsterdam - IUCN Dutch committee launches an interactive platform for video stories about the power of nature restoration, called What if we change. Wetlands International is one of the partners in this platform with an innovative nature restoration project in the Inner Niger Delta in Mali.
Wuxi, China - The Asian Wetland Symposium on Human Well-being and Wetlands, co-organised by Wetlands International China, brought together 800 participants from 19 countries, including many officials from local governments in China. The event concluded with the adoption of the Wuxi Declaration, in which participants call for a series of actions to be taken for wetland conservation and wise use.
New York - At the Global Clinton Initiative in New York, Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International has presented our commitment to work with communities on saving worldwide two million acres of carbon dense peatswamps.
By Pieter van Eijk
Enormous logs float by while we navigate the Agusan river on Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines. A silent testimony of decades of ravaging sawmills and chainsaws that denuded most of the archipelago's once virgin hill slopes. The noisy motor of our boat stirs up a deeply brown-coloured mixture of water and sediment. Two decades ago, local fishermen tell me, the water was clear and readily drinkable.
Wetlands International is very concerned about the permission for Exxon and Rosneft for oil exploration in the Russian Arctic Sea. The area designated overlaps with two protected natural areas. Officially oil exploration is banned in these areas.
We proudly present our new 10-year Strategic Intent (2011-2020). While our organisation remains grounded within both the conservation and humanitarian sectors, we are broadening our focus on wetland and climate change issues. Also new is our emphasis on the economic sectors driving wetland loss and the potential to utilize some of these for conservation and restoration.
The Annual Review 2010 is out now! Despite the global economic crisis, our Annual Review 2010 shows a healthy and growing organisation. Due to our efforts together with many partners, we achieved a lot in terms of wetland restoration and conservation worldwide.
Wetlands International proudly presents the new chair of the Supervisory council of Wetlands International: Jan Ernst de Groot, who was formerly the Managing Director of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. We welcome him to the Wetlands International family and global network.
Wetlands International is deeply saddened to report the loss of one of flamingo conservation's champions. Dr. Brooks Childress, former Chair of the IUCN/SSC Wetlands International Flamingo Specialist Group from November 2004 to July 2010, passed away in the early hours of 22 July 2011.
Gland, Switzerland (IUCN) – Africa is being given a unique opportunity to conserve its tremendous diversity of freshwater species – a critical resource for many of Africa’s poorest people. African countries can now decide to use their water resources sustainably, and avoid paying millions of dollars, as is the case in Europe, to rectify poorly planned wetland development.
Bonn, Germany - A team of Wetlands International is present at the UN Climate meeting in Bonn (SBSTA), advocating for wetland conservation in the light of climate change. There we participate in two Side Events and bring our points across in the subsequent Adaptation Fund Board meeting as well.
Friday, 20 May 2011. Today, a two year moratorium between Norway and Indonesia to freeze Indonesia’s forest and peatland clearing has been agreed. The moratorium blocks new concessions in Indonesia’s peatlands and remaining forests; but also leaves many exemptions.
Geneva – Wetlands International has renewed its cooperation with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on May 19th through the signing of a new Memorandum of Cooperation for the period 2011-2017. The organisation sees an important future for the convention, with increased focus on the services such as water security that wetlands provide to people.
Washington, D.C. - Representatives from the Convention on Migratory Species, Ramsar Convention, UNEP, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Birdlife International, the GEF Secretariat, International Crane Foundation, and Wetlands International met to discuss several Global projects on Migratory Species. Specific to the Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative (WHMSI) a project entitled: Conservation of globally important migratory species and the critical habitats needed to complete their lifecycles within the Americas is under design.
Rapid land use change for intensive agriculture and urban functions has a devastating impact, particularly on wetlands. In the light of World Migratory Bird Day 2011 on 14-15 May, Wetlands International calls for attention on the implications of land use change for waterbirds.
Wetlands International is very concerned about the renewed plans by the Tanzanian government to mine for soda ash in Lake Natron. The plan to mine at this very precious but vulnerable lake conflicts with the government’s international commitments and could cause the loss one of Africa’s most important Wetlands of International Importance, being the only breeding site of the East-African population of Lesser Flamingo.
Washington DC – Drainage and degradation of coastal wetlands emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide directly to the atmosphere and lead to decreased carbon sequestration, a new World Bank report has found.
Wetlands International organised a global symposium, connected to the launch of the 2011-2020 strategic intent. This international symposium offered a unique opportunity to consider a range of national and regional experiences in the management and restoration of wetlands; and to define global priorities in relation to the science, policies and practices of wetland management.
Edinburgh, Scotland. Representatives of governments, civil society and research centres of learning gathered in Edinburgh to consider the growing evidence base regarding the role of wetlands in addressing climate change. The global NGO Wetlands International has made climate change a prominent element in its new strategy for the coming decade.
Wetlands International in collaboration with the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Environment Protection Agency is holding an international symposium to discuss the importance of wetlands in a changing climate in Edinburgh on the 24th of February 2011.
February 2, 2011. World Wetlands Day is this year celebrated with the theme “Forests for Water and Wetlands”. Wetlands International marks this day by launching its new initiatives to reverse the loss of the world’s wetland forests such as forested peatlands and mangroves.
An increasing part of Malaysia’s palm oil is produced at the account of huge areas of tropical peatswamp forests. Especially in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, expansion of oil palm plantations may lead to the complete loss of these vast, unique forests by the end of this decade. This is shown by new figures from Wetlands International and Sarvision.
Cancún, Mexico. Climate negotiators at the climate summit in Cancún agreed that in a future climate agreement it should be possible for countries to reduce their emissions by rewetting drained peatlands. Wetlands International is very pleased with this agreement because it means a strong incentive will be created to stop the loss of wetlands. Under the current Kyoto Protocol, these emissions were not included and therefore not addressed.
Cancún, Mexico 10 Dec 2010. Wetlands International strongly welcomes the decision of climate negotiators to enable developed countries to reduce their emissions by rewetting drained peatlands. Thanks to this decision, a climate deal following the Kyoto Protocol will provide strong incentives to halt and reverse the loss of wetlands. Under the current Kyoto Protocol, these emissions remained unaccounted and thus unaddressed.
Cancún, Mexico. During a celebrity side event at the climate change conference in Cancún private investor George Soros said he stands ready to invest in the rehabilitation of drained peatlands in Indonesia. He announced this in an event which discussed international partnerships under REDD+; a new UNFCCC mechanism to reduce emission from deforestation and degradation in developing countries.
One billion tonnes of forest and peatland emissions may go unaccounted
CANCUN – Countries at climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico this week are in closed door meetings on a deal to evade accounting for up to one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution from the destruction of native forests and peatlands. The Ecosystems Climate Alliance (of which Wetlands International is one of the core members) today launched a colourful Truth in Targets campaign highlighting the imminent decision to entrench loopholes in proposed new international emissions rules for land and forests in developed countries.
Cancún, Mexico. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), science now allows to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands. This breakthrough was presented yesterday by the IPCC at the UN climate conference (UNFCCC) in Cancun (Mexico). This conclusion is crucial for allowing countries to reduce their emissions through rewetting drained wetlands. A decision on that will possibly be taken in Cancun.
The major UN climate conference takes place in Cancún, Mexico, where in the coming two weeks (29 November – 11 December) country delegations will negotiate next steps towards a new climate agreement. This may become an important meeting as countries could agree on reducing emissions from deforestation. One other key element on this agenda is to reduce the annual emissions from drained peatlands, in order to address this so far ignored part of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
New research warns of massive increase in carbon emissions and land conversion
Brussels, Belgium – Plans to increase the use of biofuels in Europe over the next ten years will require up to 69,000 square kilometres of new land worldwide and make climate change worse, a new study reveals today .
29 October 2010. Wetlands International is relieved by the successful outcome of the Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan. The approved 20 targets for 2020 are an important step to save our global biodiversity, including wetland areas.
Nagoya, Japan - Today, the UN Biological Diversity Convention in Japan has started on its second and last week. The aim to agree on ambitious global targets for the coming decade will be challenging; success is uncertain. The pace of the negotiations is slow.
The rate of decline of waterbird populations has slightly decreased over the last three decades. However, 47% of the waterbird populations are still declining and only 16% are increasing. The status of waterbirds is improving mainly in North America and Europe, while it is least favourable in Asia. Especially long distance migrants appear to be vulnerable.
Nagoya, Japan (CBD) - Wetlands International will present the State of the World’s Waterbirds 2010 on Thursday 21 October at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan. Through this publication, the organisation will show how different groups of waterbird populations are doing in different parts of our world.
Nagoya, Japan (CBD) - Wetlands International will hold two press conferences at the conference of the UN Biological Diversity Convention (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan in the morning of Thursday 21st of October, 2010.
Nagoya, Japan (CBD) - The Niger River is a lifeline for the Sahelian countries of Mali and Niger. Depending on the rainwater in Tropical West African Country of Guinea, the river fills the large Inner Niger Delta; a seasonal flooded area for one million people and millions of migratory waterbirds. A combination of upstream dams and expected climate change impacts may mean a disaster for these biodiversity and human values.
While global biodiversity loss increases at alarming rates, ministers are gathering in Japan for the most important biodiversity meeting of the decade. During this CBD meeting, a clear picture will be presented on the worsening state of the world’s biodiversity. Yet little in the way of additional action or commitment is expected from the governments in attendance.
TIANJIN, CHINA (UNFCCC) – Greenhouse gas emissions from bioenergy1 – the development and burning of biofuels and the combustion of biomass to generate electricity – must be accounted for in national emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, say forest and climate experts from the Ecosystems Climate Alliance (ECA), of which Wetlands International is a member.
New visitors centre displays migratory bird flyways from the Arctic to Africa
Wetlands International and Dutch nature organisation Staatsbosbeheer demand attention on the international importance of the Dutch Oostvaardersplassen as key link in migratory birds’ networks of wetlands (flyway). The future visitors centre built by Staatsbosbeheer in Oostvaardersplassen will play an exemplary role in displaying intercontinental bird migration to its public. Wetlands International and Staatsbosbeheer formalised their cooperation by signing an agreement on Thursday 23 September in Lelystad, The Netherlands.
Plantations on peatsoils will no longer be supported by The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This is a decision by the CDM Board as a result of concerns expressed by Wetlands International, Greifswald University and CDM-Watch, who alarmed the Board that these CDM projects directly result in very high greenhouse gas emissions from the drainage of peat soils for palm oil plantations.
One in five species of plants and animals that live in fresh water in Africa is threatened with extinction. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive assessment of 5,167 freshwater species by 200 scientists over the past 5 years.
The thick smog in Moscow is for 80 to 90 percent caused by fires in drained peatlands near Moscow. Despite the relatively small areas where the peat fires occur, these are the fires that cause the massive air pollution in Moscow involving major risks for the health of residents of the region, as well as enormous CO2 emissions. Peat fires are difficult to extinguish and may continue to burn underground for months, even after rainfall like last night.
August 4, 2010. The disastrous forest fires that are currently raging in Russia have led to significant fires in the drained and degraded peatlands. These occur close to Moscow and densely populated areas in Central European Russia. They are causing huge air pollution problems as well as direct risks for the people in the region.
IUCN the Netherlands, Wetlands International and Both Ends can still submit their detailed proposal in order to compete for the Dutch Co-financing System for development grant (MFS II) with their program "The Ecosystem Alliance: Empowering People and Nature 'development.”
Bonn, Germany. New conservation plans for the Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus covering its entire range and migration routes that span continents have now been endorsed to save the species from extinction. During its annual migration, the Siberian Crane travels 5,000 kilometers from its breeding grounds in Yakutia and western Siberia, intermediate resting and feeding places, to its wintering sites in southern China and Iran respectively.
The Hague, The Netherlands - Key organisations from the Wings Over Wetlands project partnership, representing the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), Wetlands International and BirdLife International signed a historic collaborative agreement to redouble their efforts to conserve migratory waterbird species and their critical habitats in Africa and Eurasia.
The Hague, the Netherlands. A new website providing information on thousands of wetlands and hunderds of waterbird populations shows the difficult situation for the migratory waterbirds of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia.
After a long process since the adoption of the Renewable Energy Directive, the European Commission has now made clear that biofuels produced or imported to the EU cannot be produced at the cost of wetlands, peatlands or forests.
Bonn, Germany. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will explore further guidance for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands. This is a crucial step towards a decision by the UN Climate Summit in December in Mexico to allow countries to reduce emissions through rewetting drained wetlands.
The large emissions from degrading peatsoils are currently not addressed at the climate conference. Wetlands International is present at the new session of the UN climate summit in Bonn to advocate for steps towards incentives for countries to protect and restore wetlands in order to reduce carbon emissions.
BONN, Germany – As the UN climate talks resume here today toward a new global deal to prevent catastrophic climate change, negotiators will be seeking a way forward on the challenge of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Stemming the tide of forest loss is a key link in the global effort against climate change.
Wetlands International welcomes the support from Norway for Indonesia to curb emissions from deforestation and the loss of carbon rich peatswamps. We also welcome the announcement that under the partnership, Indonesia is prepared to suspend for two years new concessions for the conversion of peat and natural forest lands. However, we are very concerned that this moratorium will take effect only somewhere during the second phase of the partnership. This will create for some sectors during a period of at least 7 months a perverse incentive of enhanced effort for expanding palm oil and pulp concessions in Indonesian forest and peatland areas. We call for the moratorium to enter into immediate effect.
Wetlands International strongly welcomes the suspension by President Obama of oil drilling in the offshore USA territories in the Arctic. The period of suspension is needed for a proper analysis and discussion about the risks of offshore drilling.
The International Day of Biodiversity is Saturday 22 May. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and the year that the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will conclude that the aims to reduce biodiversity loss have not been achieved. According to Wetlands International, this crisis for biodiversity is directly connected to the global water crisis that is threatening our planet.
The world’s wetlands such as rivers, mangroves, deltas and lakes are degrading faster than any other ecosystem type. Increasingly many are reaching the critical stage where damage will be irreversible which has serious repercussions for the water and food security of poor people. This is revealed in the in-depth review on inland waters (wetlands) which is being discussed at the technical meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which kicked off Monday in Nairobi.
“Save migratory birds in crisis – every species counts!” - is this year's central WMBD theme and aims to raise awareness about globally threatened migratory birds, with a particular focus on those birds on the very edge of extinction - the Critically Endangered. On 8-9 May 2010 thousands of people around the world will be attending World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) events which will celebrate bird migration and highlight migratory birds in crisis.
Wetlands International is very concerned about the devastating threats of the BP oil spill on the south coast of the US. This disaster shows the permanent threat of offshore oil winning on very precious natural areas. The precautionary principle should be applied when considering oil winning activities in similarly highly vulnerable coastal areas.
Wetlands International regrets the loss of one of its greatest supporters, Heribert (Herby) Kalchreuter. Herby was the Woodcock and Snipe Specialist Group Chair some years ago. He passed away the 14th of March. Wetlands International will very much miss his sense of humour, enthusiasm and dedication to waterbird conservation.
Waterbirds in Asia are in trouble. Rapid and poorly-planned human development leading to a lack of adequate official conservation of their important wetland sites are key reasons for their declining numbers. These are the conclusions of the newly published report by Wetlands International, covering over 6,700 wetland sites in 27 Asian countries.
Wetlands International welcomes the bilateral agreement between the Dutch government and Indonesia to restore Indonesia’s the degraded peatlands, with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions. Wetlands International has been the leading organisation in advocating and piloting peatland restoration in Indonesia as one of the most effective means for climate change mitigation.
The EU Parliament has formulated sustainability criteria to prevent forest loss for biofuel production. Now, a leaked draft document shows how the Commission intends to allow and support conversion of for instance rainforest areas into palm oil plantations to produce biodiesel.
The book An Atlas of Wader Populations in Africa and Western Eurasia published by Wetlands International was awarded third prize in the 2009 Best British Bird Book of the Year Competition. This book - also known as the Wader Atlas - was produced jointly with the International Wader Study Group.
Celebrating World Wetlands Day, today's spotlight is on the importance of wetlands for reducing impacts of climate change. Globally, there is a growing recognition of the key role that the protection and restoration of wetlands like marshes, peatlands, mangroves and coral reefs can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to its impacts. Now, this recognition has to be turned into action.
Mansoa, Guinea Bissau. Government officials have launched a new mangrove project in Guinea Bissau, which will demonstrate how better management of mangrove forests can help in reducing coastal climate change impacts. The project aims to deliver the knowledge base for the development of national policies in the fight against climate change impacts. NGO Wetlands International, which is leading the project, emphasizes that this project is an example for many coastal areas in Africa and in the rest of the world.
December 19, 2009, 11.00. The COP just agreed on one sentence with a weak text as just an Annex. National short term interests have blocked any step towards solving one of the biggest challenges mankind faces. The momentum is now missing to move towards a low carbon economy and to reduce the loss of carbon rich ecosystems like forests and wetlands.
Copenhagen, Thursday 17 December 2009. If there will be a final and successful climate deal this weak remains unclear; many key issues are still under discussion. The current drafts do provide hope for the wetlands issue, although key elements need to be solved.
The satellite transmitter equipped Black-tailed Godwit called ‘Gaast’ has been found in the Inner Niger Delta of Mali, Africa after flying south from Friesian pastures in northern Netherlands in June. ‘Gaast’ is part of 15 individuals satellite marked in a project of the Groningen University under the Global Shorebird Network programme to study the precise migratory movements of the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa that migrates between the Netherlands and western Africa.
Despite slow developments on decisions for appropriate financing for protecting the most vulnerable countries against the impacts of climate change, some positive news can be reported by the Wetlands International team working on Adaptation in Copenhagen. The value of ecosystems for climate change adaptation is now explicitely recognised in the draft text for a new climate deal.
The Indonesian government acknowledges in Copenhagen that forestry and agriculture in peatswamp areas causes extreme carbon emissions, with just very limited economical revenues. Only a rapid development of a financial incentive such as REDD is able to protect and restore the remaining peatswamp forests.
This morning and yesterday; new steps are agreed regarding the texts on the Land Use part of the Kyoto Protocol (LULUCF) and on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries (REDD). Not all these new steps are positive, but they do allow addressing emissions from the loss of wetlands.
Wetlands International is present at the UN Cilmate Summit in Copenhagen. The outcomes of this summit may have a great impact on the future protection and restoration of wetland areas. We offer you direct updates via our website and via Twitter.
Maputo, Mozambique. A national group to carry out wetland biodiversity monitoring and other biodiversity conservation work has been created in Mozambique. This is the most important outcome of a national wetland and waterbird training course held at the Natural History Museum of Mozambique (Museu da Historia Natural) in Maputo, Mozambique from 9 - 17 November 2009.
Three dead manatees were found last week in the waters of the Navel River, a northern tributary to the Senegal River near the bridge-dam erected by SAED. According to witness accounts, the manatees carried by atypical strong currents violently slammed into the structure’s gates. This tragedy just one year after the rescue of five manatees in similar conditions re-launches the debate around the need for better integration of species’ migration, particularly the manatee, in the Senegal River valley.
Seven countries in West Africa, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde have agreed to collaborate in the conservation of important sites for migratory birds along their coasts that receive little or no attention from ongoing conservation initiatives in the region. The decision was reached after a 4-day workshop (November 16-19, 2009) in Dakar Senegal, organized by BirdLife International in collaboration with Wetlands International.
An initiative from Wetlands International Indonesia Programme (WIIP) and IUCN Netherlands has brought all stakeholders of the shrimp value chain together to improve the sustainability of shrimp production in coastal areas in Indonesia. Under the Sustainable Shrimp & Coastal Restoration and Conservation Program (SSCRC) efforts to improve systems in order to meet certification requirements are being combined with restoration of coastal mangrove ecosystems.
Limbe, Cameroon. For the first time in Africa the Flyway Training Kit was put into practice at the first regional Training of Trainers (ToT) course in Limbe, Cameroon. Receiving strong positive feedback, this training kit, developed in the framework of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project will be an important tool to build capacity towards the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) meeting this week in Kuala Lumpur has been unable to develop any clear criteria on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This means that there are no credible criteria for sustainable palm oil at this moment. Some hope does exist for the future thanks to the approval of a process to develop better GHG criteria catalysed by the adoption of the resolution from Wetlands International.
While fires rage through the drained and logged peatswamp forests of Indonesia emitting huge amounts of CO2, the UN Climate Talks take place in Bangkok. The coming two weeks country negotiators will work towards a framework for a new climate treaty. This issue of greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands is now explicitly on the agenda of these crucial last negotiation rounds before the Copenhagen Summit.
Monday, 21 September 2009 - The Indonesian government has come forward with figures that confirm that the country is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses; for 80% due to deforestation and peatland loss. Wetlands International, the NGO that has been advocating the need to address peatland degradation strongly welcomes the acknowledgement by the Indonesian government of the issue.
Climate change is now named as the cause of the severe drought in eastern Africa. While this may be true, poor wetland management, especially unsustainable use of water resources, is the root cause of the totally drying up of normally wet areas. This situation currently threatens millions of people in the region and has already caused mass starvation of cattle and wildlife.
Wetlands International is concerned about the plans of the Russian government to support and allow large scale peat mining for energy. Using peat causes much larger carbon dioxide emissions than fossil fuels, will ruin precious nature and disrupt the hydrology of large areas.
Global NGO Wetlands International has further expanded its reach and impact on conservation, restoration and sustainable use of wetlands. For the fifth consecutive year it has grown in both financial and operational size. This concludes the newly published Annual Review 2008.
All over the world, conflicts between groups of people are arising due to poor planning of wetlands and their water resources. This concludes the global NGO Wetlands International in its report ‘Planting trees to eat fish’ after investigating many wetland sites in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Wetlands International in a coalition of environmental groups (see below) has accused a British company of funding the imminent destruction of a critical area of Indonesian rainforest for palm oil production.
Over thirty civil society organisations join together to avert the effects of biofuel development on food security and sovereignty in African countries. The civil society coalition on biofuels supported by Wetlands International Africa and Action Aid will be officially launched on Thursday, June 18, 2009 at Senegal's USE’s Centre de Bopp in Dakar.
Leading NGO Experts Explain Climate Convention development on REDD and LULUCF:
Where Are We and Where Are We Going? See the webcast.
Experts from the Ecosystem Climate Alliance (ECA), a coalition of leading environmental groups around the world, have established a twitter feed to monitor the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) negotiations in real time at the Bonn climate talks from June 1 – 12, 2009.
The invasive fish species of Tilapia and Mosquitofish coming from badly constructed fish farms are diminishing native fish species in Fiji. This is the result of a six-year study to 20 catchments on the Pacific islands. ‘Invasive Alien Species’ is today’s International Day for Biological Diversity theme.
More than half the populations of waders in Europe, West Asia and Africa are declining at an accelerating rate. There is a need for better protection of the key wetlands along their flyways, especially in Africa and the Middle East. This is the conclusion of the Wetlands International’s Wader Atlas, the first comprehensive overview of key site networks for waders in Europe, West-Asia and Africa, launched in London today.
In their long journeys each year millions of migratory birds must cross many frontiers and obstacles. Therefore, ’Barriers to Migration’ is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day (9-10 May 2009). The Follow the Bird! initiative of Wetlands International has shown that many birds do not make it back home; decreasing stopover wetland sites, hunters, power lines, and even airplanes cross their paths of thousands of kilometers.
Bonn/Nairobi. In the weekend of 9-10 May 2009), thousands of people around the world take part in World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) events to draw attention to the many man-made obstacles birds face during their migration. The central theme for this year’s World Migratory Bird Day - “Barriers ot Migration” – aims to highlight the effects man-made structures such as wind turbines, communication masts, tall buildings and windows, power lines and fences have on migratory birds.
The Wader Atlas is a milestone publication presenting the current knowledge of the numbers, distribution and movements of waders in the Africa-Western Eurasia region. Built on ten years of study, the Wader Atlas is a beautifully illustrated book, providing maps, trends, and a wealth of detailed information on this remarkable group of birds.
Bonn, Germany. The enormous carbon dioxide emissions from degraded peatlands have finally become an integral part of the UNFCCC agenda. An impressive list of countries have pleaded for inclusion of these so far ignored emissions in national emission accounting in developed countries (Annex I).
A new 3-year project on “Strengthening waterbird and wetland conservation capacities in North Africa (WetCap)” is embarking on its first year of implementation as of this month. Within the framework of this project capacity building activities will take place in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Mauritania.
The government of Indonesia took a promising step this week by asking World Bank for support in reducing carbon emissions from forest and peatland loss. However, last month, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture issued a decree (Indonesian / English translation) to open up peatswamp areas for the development of palm oil plantations.
While in the EU and the RSPO policies are being developed to exclude palmoil from carbon rich soils like peatlands and to prevent the loss of their precious forests, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture issued a decree to open up peatswamp areas for the development of palmoil plantations.
The largest waterbird congregation site in the Indian subcontinent is the site of a new international study of migratory birds and their role in the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1. The study, launched by the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and its partners, is the first of its kind in India.
Wetlands International Africa has launched the Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Network (BIOMAC) in Guinea Bissau at the 4th Forum of the Regional Coastal and Marine Conservation Programme for West Africa (PRCM). BIOMAC addresses the many challenges facing the West African coast through information sharing, environmental monitoring, rapid reaction systems and capacity building. The mission of BIOMAC is ‘building strategic partnerships to protect our marine and coastal heritage’.
2 February, World Wetlands Day. This year’s theme ‘Upstream-Downstream’ highlights how the world’s wetlands are connected to millions of people whose livelihoods, safety and security depend on them for water supply and their capacity to help regulate floods. Climate change will considerably magnify the problems that ongoing degradation of these river basins will bring to nature and people. Increasing the resilience of these wetlands is therefore a fundamental issue that must be part of climate change adaptation strategies.
Wetlands International signed today the agreement to offset all emissions of flights booked by its headquarters, according to the Gold Standard. The Climate Neutral Group will organise the offsetting programme by investing in alternative energies (wind energy) of an amount equal to the emissions of flying. The ambition of Wetlands International is to expand the compensation to other emissions and other parts of the global organisation as soon as administratively feasible.
The EU Renewable Energy Directive that promotes the use of biofuels, will not recognise feedstocks from carbon rich wetlands as ‘renewables’. It also excludes peat under the ‘renewable energy’ label. This is a significant success, despite the fact that many other precious wetlands and ecosystems are still at risk due to very weak criteria for limiting the impacts of biofuel production on land-use.
Five Manatees have been saved from a near death in the Senegal River by a joined Wetlands International Africa operation. The large mammals – also known as Seacows, although they live in fresh water rivers – were stuck in one of the River Senegal’s arms in Navel in the Matam Region of Senegal.
Wetlands International Headquarters is moving! From 19th of December 2008, the Headquarters will be located at Horapark 9 in Ede, Gelderland Province in The Netherlands. The phone numbers also change. Nevertheless, the P.O. Box address remains the same.
The UN climate summit (UN-FCCC) currently taking place in Poznan is crucial for the question whether the huge emissions from degraded peatlands will finally be addressed. Today however, the working group on the methodologies for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) has decided to only deal with above ground biomass, ignoring carbon rich soils. This decision will therewith so far ignore or even worsen the emissions of 2000 Mt/CO2/yr from peatland loss in developing countries.
Huge areas of the world’s peatlands will be opened up for biofuel production if Finland and Sweden succeed in opening up a new loophole in EU legislation.
Peat is formed over thousands of years. Recovery of peat exploitation is usually irreversible or if it can be reversed, it will take hundreds or even thousands of years to be replenished. Given this evidence, Wetlands International is astonished by the proposal by Finland to consider peat as renewable energy source at the Permanent Representatives Committee of the European Union.
The UN climate summit in Poznan , Poland (1-12 December) is a key opportunity for addressing the huge greenhouse gas emissions from peatland degradation. A team of Wetlands International attends the summit to advocate policies that will address the loss of the worlds peatlands.
This Tuesday (11th Nov.), the world’s first certified palm oil under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) arrives on European shores. This certified palm oil originates from a plantation which has palm oil grown on peatlands. Wetlands International strongly cautions that palm oil cannot be certified "sustainable" as long as the sector refuses to include a criterion on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from land use change, in particular degradation of tropical peatlands.
A new and stunning book was published by Wetlands International on intertidal mudflats of the Yellow Sea, which are under critical threat by unsustainable development. The book offers a wonderful photographic journey that follows the migration of shorebirds flying from their breeding grounds in the Arctic through East Asia to Australia.
Green Coast partners in Aceh (Wetlands International and WWF) have submitted an official request to Aceh Provincial Government to endorse, support and protect the 11 Green Coast demonstration sites after the partners will be phased out Mid 2009.
In the speech on behalf of the International Organising Partners of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP 10) in Korea, Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International welcomes the steps to increase the status of Ramsar Sites, especially with regard to Lake Natron in Tanzania, the Tana Delta and Lake Naivasha in Kenya. At the same time, there is disappointment about the little progress in addressing water, climate and development policies with a link to wetlands.
Wetlands International advocates chances for the proposed resolutions of this week’s Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Many proposed changes demand attention for the link between wetland loss and climate change and for biofuels.
This is the Wetlands International Global Newsletter of Oct./Nov. 2008. It is filled with news on wetlands and climate change, migratory birds, international conferences, research, videos and publications.
Wetlands International supports the call of the global company Unilever for a moratorium on deforestation for palm oil. With the call, companies and NGOs dealing with palm oil urge companies to respect this moratorium. The call will also be translated into a resolution for the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (meeting in November 2008).
A study showing declines of 41 per cent of migratory waterbird populations along their main migration routes in Africa and Eurasia is presented to the Fourth Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (MOP4) in Antananarivo, Madagascar this week (15-19 September 2008).
10 September 2008. Tomorrow, the Industry, Research and EnergyCommittee (ITRE) of the European Parliament will vote about the Renewable Energy Directive. Wetlands International calls for a rejection of the 10% target for biofuel use in 2020.
Ten Purple Herons can be monitored from today onwards in their trek to Africa. These herons are equipped with a satellite transmitter, which allows their position to be determined with a ten metre accuracy. The flyway of the Purple Heron can be observed online at: www.vogelbescherming.nl/purperreiger.
September 1, 2008.
The UK think tank Policy Exchange has presented the costs of the most important climate measures. Reducing emissions from tropical peatlands is by far the cheapest way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; using biofuels is by far the most expensive measure.
Surveys by scientists of Wetlands International Oceania, IUCN Oceania and Paris Museum of Natural History in France confirmed that Samoa has a unique and highly threatened freshwater fauna. At least three new records of fish were recorded for Samoa including one (perhaps 2) potential new species to science.
6 August 2008
A delegation of three Korean NGOs visited Wetlands International’s Headquarters in Wageningen at the end of July. Objective of their visit was to highlight the potential impacts of the Grand Canal Project to be built in Korea.
Green Coast, a post-tsunami coastal restoration program led by Wetlands International, has been assessed independently as a highly cost-effective and successful approach to disaster risk reduction.
Influenced by a powerful joint NGO lobby, the Members of the Environmental Committee of European Parliament yesterday voted in favour of stronger sustainability criteria and a lower target for biofuels. The proposed 10% biofuel target for 2020 was reduced to a significant lower 4% in 2015 with criteria for ambitious greenhouse gas savings and exclusion of areas like wetlands with high carbon stocks and/or biodiversity values.
In CNN's show 'Business Traveller' the focus is this month on carbon offsetting initiatives worldwide. Wetlands International CEO Jane Madgwick tells about the NGO's recently launched Global Peatland Fund. Click here to watch the show which aired July 12, 13, 17 2008
The planned Bujagali Dam in Uganda violates key social and environmental policies of its major funders: the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank. These new and devastating conclusions have just been presented by a AfDB research panel.
25-06-2008 Press release
Wetlands International is shocked by the decision of the Kenyan government to convert large tracts of the Tana wetlands in Kenya into sugarcane-for-ethanol plantations. This dramatic development confirms the NGO’s recent outlook ‘Biofuels in Africa’, which shows that biofuel production in Africa will lead to loss of wetlands and rainforest.
Wetlands International has followed the Convention for the full two weeks and organised several side events (click here for our activities).
The conservation and restoration of ecosystems, in particular wetlands, could be one of the most cost-effective strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Wetlands can reduce the negative effects of sea level rise, extreme weather like heavy rainfall, increased temperatures, severe storms and related phenomena such as melting glaciers, prolonged droughts and increased floods. Today Wetlands International will present facts and its views on adaptation at the CBD in Bonn.
The year 2007 experienced a period with lots of rainfall due to the La Nina weather phenomenon.
The project is working to enhance the conservation of waterbirds and the wetlands they depend on in the African Eurasian region. For this we train people, conduct demonstration projects, develop webb...
Virgin Atlantic yesterday said their pioneering flight was a historic step towards using biofuels on commercial flights, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.
Wetlands International on behalf of the WPRP African Training Board announces the call for applications for the 2008 training courses focusing on a modular system of training. These training courses are part of a series of training courses being supported by the WPRP. The main modules were developed in collaboration with various partners such as Wageningen International, UNESCO-IHE, Oxfam America, Kenya Wildlife Service Institute, Foundation for Sustainable Development, Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, Uganda Wetlands Inspection Division and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre through a series of stakeholder consultations and have further undergone processes to ensure their relevance to local contexts.
Furthermore this service to people is often over-exploited, resulting in degradation.Wetlands International calls for wider attention of the role wetlands ecosystems play for water and sanitation. A world facing extreme rainfall followed by droughts from climate change cannot survive without healthy wetlands.
Wetlands International played a very active role in trying to influence the outcomes of the Bali Climate Conference (UN-FCCC COP 13). Our organisation was present with a professional team from various offices. This has led to some successes.
A report of UNDP showed that Malaysia's carbon emissions grew by 221 percent from 1990 to 2004, the largest growth in emissions among the top 30 emitters. Malaysia is ranked 26th on a global league table of emitters. Studies by Wetlands International and its partners have indicated that emissions from degraded peatlands alone in Malaysia are remarkably high, around 100 million tonnes annually.
Click here for the presentation about the Global Peatland Fund with background information.
Results from the first comprehensive global assessment on the links between peatland degradation and climate change presented today show that clearance, drainage and fires in peatlands emit more than 3 billion tones of carbon dioxide every year, equivalent to 10% of global emissions from fossil fuels. Protection and restoration of peatlands are among the most cost- effective options for climate change mitigation.
Indonesia takes, with 2000 million tonnes CO2 emissions per year from degraded peat, the largest share of the global peat emissions; it is a huge problem, but also very concentrated, involving around 13 million hectares. The cost-effectiveness of restoring these degraded areas is very high. Emissions in many of these peatlands are around hundred tonnes per hectare per year.
The Kyoto rules for accounting emissions make a rigid distinction between fossil and non-fossil fuels. Non-fossil fuels are assumed to have by definition zero greenhouse gas emissions. This assumption ignores that there are other emissions than fossil fuel emissions that add to the greenhouse gas balance in the atmosphere. Thus, these Kyoto accounting rules provide a huge incentive for the use of biomass in Annex 1 countries.
In his role as the Honorary President of Wetlands International, Raymond C. Offenheiser will support the organisation as a whole by representing them and providing advice and guidance on key policy and strategic issues. In particular, he will guide the organisation’s partnership approach with the development sector in its work connecting wetlands and livelihoods in developing countries. Mr. Offenheiser will participate as an observer in the organisations’ governance structures and play a role in representing the wider Wetlands international family of staff, members and partners.
Wednesday 5 December (10.00-10:30)
Presentation to the press:
NGO press room ‘wind’ in the Grand Hyatt, Nusa Dua, Bali
New figures about the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by palm oil production in South-east Asia. Presentation of the need to change the Kyoto greenhouse gas accounting rules to include these emissions.
Adopted at the recent 5th Roundtable on Sustainable Development (RT5), the RSPO P&C is a significant milestone for the multi-national and multi-stakeholder group. Established in 2003 to develop certified sustainable palm oil, the recently adopted RSPO P&C has established clear guidelines on best management practices for the industry that minimizes negative impact to the environment. In addition the RSPO P&C ensures protection of high conservation value forests, and rights to land tenure are protected.
The Symposium was opened by Shaoxing Party Secretary Wang Yongchang, Deputy Administrator of the State Forestry Administration of China, the Chief Planner of the Ministry of Construction of China, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation in Mali Abdoulaye Berthe, the Mayor of Shaoxing Municipal People’s Government Zhang Jinru and Wetlands International’s CEO Jane Madgwick.
Participants at the Symposium urged governments, development, health and conservation agencies involved in wetland management, to take action to improve the health of all people, in harmony with wetland conservation objectives; and committed themselves to the same aim.
The current disaster took place in an area not far from Ramsar Convention Wetlands of International Importance in the Kuban Delta (Russia) and Eastern Sivash (Ukraine). Nearby there are 5 more Ramsar sites along the Ukrainian Sea of Azov coast all of which are very important for wintering, migratory and breeding waterbirds.
The first such workshop was held in Kenya in January 2007, the third is planned for Mali in October 2008. These workshops enable people working on the balance between wetland conservation and livelihood development all over the world to build partnerships and share experiences.
22 October 2007. he Dutch minister Ms. J. Cramer has decided to exclude palm oil for two years from all subsidies that other green energies will receive. The reasons for this exclusion are the doubts and questions regarding the sustainability of palm oil. The devastating impact of palm oil plantations on the valuable peatswamp forests of Indonesia was highlighted.
Tomorrow, on the 26th of September, the members of the European Parliament will vote on the Thomsen Report - roadmap on renewable energy. This report pushes for a 10% mandatory target for biofuels for transport without any viable certification mechanisms in place. The ambitious target of 10% will leave no room to exclude large production of unsustainable biofuels. The mandatory biofuel target is not linked to a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Wetlands International presents today its publication about South-east Asian shorebirds, based on years of field monitoring in Malaysia. Shorebird numbers showed an overall decline of 22% in Malaysia between 1983–1986 and 2004–2006. The reclamation and conversion of mangrove forest and mudflats for aquaculture, agriculture, industry, housing and recreational purposes has been identified as the major threat to waterbird areas.
The development is being proposed by Lake Natron Resources Ltd., a company jointly owned by Tata Chemicals Ltd. and the Tanzania National Development Corporation, a state-owned entity established to coordinate commercial development in Tanzania. The proposal has the support of the President.
More and more governments and corporates recognise the importance of safeguarding the world’s remaining peatswamp forests. Their huge carbon stocks, equivalent to around 100 years of fossil fuel emissions are a precious global asset.
No less than 12 countries of the global intergovernmental Convention on Biodiversity (CBD SBSTTA) have yesterday made their recommendations to the Executive Secretary with regard to safeguarding the world’s remaining peatswamp forests. They urged the Executive Secretary to recognize the importance of peatlands, specifically tropical peatlands, in the global carbon cycle and the potential of peatland conservation and sustainable use as a cost-effective tool for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
At this moment, the global governmental Convention on Biodiversity (CBD - SBSTTA) holds their meeting in Paris. The protection and restoration of peatlands in order to conserve their carbon stocks is an important item on the agenda. Peatlands all over the world store enormous amounts of carbon. Their degradation is causing CO2 emissions equivalent to 8% of all global fossil fuel emissions. These huge emissions are not addressed under the Kyoto Protocol at all. There is now a major opportunity for the CBD to take leadership over this issue.
Such a high level of support on a particular topic is highly unusual and reflects the support for the urgent need to protect this type of habitat.
The Millennium Development Goals are 8 concrete goals to tackle the biggest global problems before 2015 and were agreed upon by the world leaders at the turn of the millennium.
At this moment, government representatives of almost all countries gather in Paris to prepare the Convention on Biodiversity meeting in Bonn next year in a technical meeting (CBD-SBSTTA). This meeting in Paris is crucial as it in fact decides about the agenda and issues for resolutions for COP 9 – the high level governmental Convention meeting in Bonn, May 2008.
At the 26th UNFCCC Subsidiary Body meetings in Bonn this week, Working Group III of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the inclusion of the impact of peatlands on climate change in their report ‘Mitigation of Climate Change’.
Wetlands International sets the global standard for research into waterbird numbers and distribution at continental scales, and the role of waterbirds as indicators of climate change is an increasingly important element of this work.
This week, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) is meeting in Bonn to prepare the agenda for the UN-FCCC summit in Bali, December 2007. Wetlands International demands the SBSTA to put the problem of peatland loss on the agenda. Our organisation will present the facts and solutions in an official side-event.
More than 50% of the new palm oil plantations in Indonesia are planned on peatlands. With these criteria, many Indonesian and Malaysian producers will lose the markets of the 4th largest palm oil importer. Wetlands International calls for the EU, individual countries to take action to stop the rapid expansion of palm oil from peatlands and the adverse environmental targets and subsidies promoting this expansion.
Green Coast is a tsunami response project, aiming at rehabilitating livelihoods of affected communities by restoring coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forest and marine resources.
Today, (Monday 12 March) in The Hague, the UK Minister of the Environment, Barry Gardiner MP, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Mrs Gerda Verburg, Secretary Generals from the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the UN Convention on Migratory Species, the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and experts worldwide met to launch a new global guide to conservation: ‘Waterbirds around the world.’ They discussed the need for greater global action for the future protection of waterbirds and their habitats.
In 2004 the Conference ‘Waterbirds around the World’ was held in Edinburgh. The aim of the presentations and discussions was to review the protection, management and study of the world’s waterbird species and the migration routes That they use.
Directly after the outbreak; many pointed at wild birds as the likely cause. Despite intensive monitoring programmes, no infected wild birds have been found in Europe since the summer of 2006. At this time of year, birds hardly migrate and this reduces the chances of wild birds spreading the disease. Birds at the farmwere kept indoors at all times and contact with wild birds in the area was therefore always unlikely.
Wetlands are crucial for fighting climate change. This relation is still quite unknown and not acknowledged yet by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the UN organisation that presented today’s report.
In Asia, 62% of the populations are now decreasing or have become extinct, and only 10% show an increasing trend. In Oceania one in six species have already become extinct.
Most observers are members of enthusiastic voluntary networks, with professional coordination at the national level. Altogether they spend about 50,000 hours on this fieldwork. Wetlands international organizes a standard method for the count, which makes it easy to compare yearly census data. Each year, between 30 million and 40 million waterbirds are counted in every continent except Antartica.
The organisation calls for a worldwide ban on the use of palm oil as a ‘green’ form of energy.
These conclusions were drawn from new research by the NGO Wetlands International, amongst others. About a quarter of palm oil originates from drained peatlands, which were tropical peat swamps until recently.
National Director for The Peregrine Fund’s Madagascar Project, Lily-Arison Rene de Roland, and field biologist, Thé Seing Sam, discovered the rare bird while conducting avian surveys in a remote part of northern Madagascar. They observed nine adults and four young that appeared to be nearly two weeks of age.
New research by Wetlands International, Delft Hydraulics and others shows the enormous impact of the peatland degradation in South-east Asia on carbon dioxide emissions. Annually, in Indonesia alone 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted from the peatlands: 600 million tonnes is caused by oxidation caused by drainage and 1.4 billion tonnes is caused by fires.
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Now the dry season has started, wildfires are occurring in several places in Sumatra and Kalimantan. They are already so large that parts of peninsular Malaysia are becoming covered with smoke. The fires are not just caused by farmers who burn their fields; they are the result of extensive drainage by companies of the naturally wet peat forest areas.
Among the victims were many people with whom we worked in collaboration, both in WWF and the Nepalese government. They shall be missed and we send our condolences to their relatives.
The projects will show how better management of wetland areas can help sustain livelihoods of the local people, while safeguarding the important values of wetlands such as fresh water supply and rich areas of biodiversity. Financial support for the projects comes from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Now the dry season has started in South East Asia, wildfires are beginning to occur in several places in Sumatra and Kalimantan. They are already so large that parts of peninsular Malaysia are becoming covered with smoke. The fires are mostly caused by farmers who burn fields and newly cleared forest areas. Unfortunately these set light to the underlying peat soil which has been dried out as a result of extensive drainage of these naturally wet peat areas.
In the Nature issue of 6 July, Ducatez et al revealed the detection of three very different strains of Avian Influenza (HPAI) in poultry farms in two different parts in Nigeria. These strains of Avian Influenza were sequenced at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
This is an important outcome as many feared that through the sequence of Autumn and Spring migration, HP H5N1 would be carried by wild birds from the outbreak areas into Africa and then back up into Europe.
Wetlands International argued earlier that a strong link of wild birds to the outbreaks in Africa was unlikely. Attention to the role of wild birds is needed, but the biggest threats for a global spread remain the transport of live birds- poultry and caged birds, as well as their products.
Current Danube Agreements and developing European initiatives offer hope that this will happen but are taking place too slowly to prevent further significant damage in the coming years.
An active campaign in providing information about the investigation and the risks of H5N1 has led to active support from African governments. International scale research is essential to provide reliable information on the incidence of H5N1 and on the degree of risk of transmission from wild birds.
Although most governments are represented on a high level, they failed to agree on anything that will enforce any action on the global problems of droughts, floods and pollution caused at least partly by wetland destruction. Many government delegations appeared mainly to be present to support their national industries.
The world water forum in Mexico could have been the place to agree about the global challenges of wetland destruction, floods and droughts. It is not. Companies are overwhelmingly attending to sell their water-related products, not to contribute to sustainable solutions. Government leaders and representatives are present to support these national industries, not to decide about global approaches and solutions.
Kathmandu, Nepal; 7th March 2006:
This initiative was decided at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ( ICIMOD ) , in Kathmandu , Nepal from 27th February to 7th March 2006.
Sundari is a well loved office Director and a prominent member of Wetlands International's global team. Apart from her practical and intelligent approach to life and work, Sundari has always kept a sense of fun and has been cheerful, optimistic and constructive when approaching the challenges facing Wetlands International in Malaysia, the region and globally.
This weekend, there were several infections in 'new' wild birds confirmed in Europe. In Germany, infected seagulls and a goshawk were found. In France the ‘dangerous’ birdflu virus H5N1 has been reported in a wild duck, apparently a Pochard (Aythya ferina). The Pochard was confirmed as having died near Lyon on 19 February.
The outbreak of avian influenza among Mute Swans in Southern Europe is most likely to have been caused by swans coming from Eastern Europe. Infected swans from the same south-east European population (see attached chart) were already detected in the Caspian and Black Sea region in November and December.
On 8 February, an outbreak of the deadly form of Avian Influenza (H5N1) was confirmed in poultry farms in Nigeria: the first country in Africa to be affected.
The workshop on Wetlands, Water and Livelihoods brought together a range of experience from 30 countries and included representatives from national and regional governments, non-governmental organizations, aid organizations, and research institutions. It follows the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Conference of Parties in November 2005, in which over 150 countries committed to take action on wetlands and poverty reduction according to Resolution 14.
This is the conclusion drawn by Wetlands International after an international workshop in South Africa. The organisation presented today an agenda for poverty reduction.
Anitadae Network is a network of protected wetland areas in East Asia, to safeguard the flyways of the 'Anitadae' waterbirds (geese, swans, and ducks). Wetlands International is the initiator and has always been very active to develop networks of sites for several waterfowl.
The United Nations state that the recent spread of avian flu to Turkey is caused by wild birds. Millions of these wild birds have now reached their winter destination. No serious outbreak due to these migrations has occurred yet. However, several outbreaks in the poultry sector did occur.
An international delegation of field-level practitioners, policy and decision-makers, university and private agencies will gather in the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Press is invited to join a field trip on the first of February.
The government of the Netherlands will be investing 5 million Euros in the coming two years on basis of the “Peat Forest Amendment” which was passed in the Dutch parliament on November 14, 2004.
In places where mangroves, coastal forests and coral reefs were still intact, the effects were less disastrous. Through this project, the organisations want to work with governments and the local population to achieve sound coastal development.
The President named the threats for the protection of wetlands: frozen social structures, agriculture, siltation, but surprisingly also the international environmental NGO’s. After an earlier cancellation and a long delay, the President finally spoke to the Convention hosted by his country.
The Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention in Kampala, ending today, have made remarkably ambitious agreements on major issues, according to the NGO’s. The Convention underlined that culling of wild birds or destroying wetlands should not be considered as a method to stop the spread of the avian flu, as these measures might even exacerbate the spread of the disease.
In the last year, we witnessed a large number of natural disasters. In many of them, wetlands played a role in preventing and mitigating their impacts. In some situations, the loss and degradation of wetlands led to greater losses of human life and increased poverty amongst local communities.
Downloadable from the publications section
WETLANDS, WATER AND LIVELIHOODS WORKSHOP An international workshop exploring best practices and lessons learned in integrating poverty and environment issues September 26th – 28th, 2005 Seasands Lodge & Conference Centre St. Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA FIRST ANNOUCEMENT AND CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
The fourth edition of Waterbird Population Estimates has now been available for comment for several weeks. An updated version, including all amendments made to date is now available.
The 5th Conference of the Working Group on Aquatic Birds of the International Society of Limnology (SIL) "Limnology and Waterbirds 2006" will be held in Eger, Hungary, August 26-30, 2006. If you wish to receive the First Announcement and further notices, please complete and return the Expression of Interest form to the address below.
Area of investigations: wetlands of the Mediterranean (freshwater and brackish) region My main interest is conservation biology with studies on threatened species (bird, fish and amphibians) within the Mediterranean region. I have expertise in colonial waterbirds, freshwater and brackish fish and ecosystem management.
The Goose Specialist Group of Wetlands International seeks to strengthen contacts between all researchers on migratory goose populations in the northern hemisphere. A database with goose censuses from the western palearctic is supported by a network of national coordinators.
Mega support for peatlands of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia We are pleased to report that the Global Peatland Initiative (GPI) has received an official invitation from the Dutch DGIS/Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lead the development of a proposal for the implementation of the Central Kalimantan Peat Swamp Rehabilitation and Management Programme.
Wetlands International is pleased to present the Wetlands International Specialist Groups Report (1999-2004). This report covers the period 1999–2004 inclusive, of activities by the respective specialist groups and it is aimed to inform people of the role the groups play in ‘wetlands science and conservation’.
Postponement: the International workshop on Sustaining Peatland Resources - Setting a Course for Wise Use, scheduled for 5-7 July 2005, Bogor, Indonesia will be postponed. The Workshop Steering Committee is re-programming the event and will release further information as soon as possible.
The Second Central Asian Flyway Meeting of Range States to develop a common international framework to promote the conservation of migratory waterbirds and wetlands was held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, India, from 10-12 June 2005. For the report and pictures, click here.
Postponement: The coastal wetlands conference How Do We Achieve Successful Management and Restoration of Mangrove Forests, Tidal Marshes, Seagrass Meadows and Coral Reefs? planned from 24-28 July 2005 in Thammarin Thana, Trang province, Thailand will be postponed.
Link to the electronic version is available on the right
A link to the electronic version is available on the right.
Link to the electronic version is available on the right
On the 31st of May 2005 the Wetlands International Strategic Intent 2005-2014 was formally launched in The Hague, The Netherlands, where invited guests, staff and friends gathered at the festive ceremony.
In Bamako, Mali on 27 March, a new book, The Niger, a lifeline, was presented by the Netherlands Ambassador Harry Bukema to Hamed Diane Semega, the Mali Minister for Mines, Energy and Water. The book, written by Wetlands International and partners is a crucial product on measuring the impacts of various dams in economic values. This enables decisions as net costs or benefits are visible.
Following the approval by the Wetlands International Board of Directors for the development of a core group of Associate Experts, experts who have had a long standing relationship with Wetlands International, and subsequent appointment of the first set of these experts.
Asian Wetland Symposium 2005 The Asian Wetland Symposium 2005 - innovative approaches to sustainable livelihood, held between 6-9 February 2005, in Bhubaneswar and Chilika, Orissa state, India, has successfully concluded.
Final Statement Arising from the Wetlands International and Partners side event “Unseen Role of Wetlands” held at the FAO/Netherlands Conference on Water for Food and Ecosystems "Make it Happen" on 1 February 2005 delivered by Prof Tekalign Mamo, State Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ethiopia.
Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Area Celebrated its 2nd World Wetlands Day Thailand became a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention on 13 May1997. Thailand’s first Wetland of International Importance is Khuan Kee Sian, a swamp forest site adjacent to Thale Noi Non-Hunting Area, Pathhalung Province in the south of Thailand.
The second meeting of the Wetlands and Livelihoods Working Group is to be held on the 7th February 2005 with the kind cooperation of Novib in The Hague.
The keynote technical presentations at the recent Board of Members meeting were grouped into four priority goal areas of our work, namely Wetlands and Global Water Agenda, Wetlands and Ecological Networks, Wetlands and Livelihoods, and Wetlands Knowledgebase.
Manuals have been prepared for Coordinators and Counters of the International Waterbird Census.
Integrated Water Resources Management in Urmia Lake Basin, Iran Lake Urmia (5000 km2) is one of the most important and valuable aquatic ecosystems in Iran, and because of its unique natural features it has been declared a National Park, Ramsar site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The first workshop of the Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Group was held on August 27th 2004 at the Wetlands International Wageningen Office in the Netherlands. The workshop was well attended by representatives from the development assistance and the environmental sector.
For example, the recovery and re-habilitation of mangroves and linked coastal and marine habitats will be vital to increase coastal protection and support coastal fisheries.
On 29-30 October, 2004, in Anchorage, Alaska, the United States was pleased to host a delegation from Japan for a consultative meeting under the auspices of the U.S.-Japan migratory bird conventio
The December issues of the Asian Waterbird Census Newsletter and International Waterbird census are out now
On December 7, 2004 in Beijing, the first Wetlands International Global Recognition for Wetlands Conservation and Wise Use award was presented by CEO Jane Madgwick to Minister Zhou Shengxian, on behalf of the China State Forestry Administration (SFA).
The Specialist Group Coordinator for November is Christine Prietto of the Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) SG
On 2 November 2004 the Minister of Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Mrs van Ardenne, has adopted for 2005 an amendment to the Dutch budget for development cooperation, which will enable financing in the order of Euro 5 million in 2005 and 10 million of structural funding each following year for the conservation and restoration of the peatswamp forests of Central Kalimantan, integrated with poverty reduction.
WWF-China has published the results of a comprehensive waterbird survey entitled: Waterbird Survey of the Lower Yangtze River Floodplain in Late January and Early February 2004
On 25 November, 75 Members, staff and special guests gathered to celebrate Wetlands International’s 50th anniversary. Master of Ceremony Tunde Ojei guided the guests back through 50 years of wetland conservation history and several guests shared their vision of the future.
The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Myanmar has deposited its instrument of accession with the Director-General of UNESCO as of 17 November 2004, and thus the Convention, as amended in 1982 and 987, will enter into force for Myanmar on 17 March 2005.
An updated version of the Strategy in Russian has been produced by the Wetlands International - Russia Office to promote awareness about waterbirds and international conservation initiatives in the northern breeding grounds of most migratory waterbirds.
Join the first migratory shorebird celebration in Malaysia! On 10 October the return of Migratory Shorebirds to Malaysia is celebrated
The final workshop of the Small Grants Programme of the Ukrainian Rivers Network has taken place.
Between 14-19 November 2004 a series of international meetings were held in Korea to promote waterbird and wetland conservation in the Asia-Pacific under the framework of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy.
From 22 August to 4 September, the Myanmar Bird & Nature Society undertook an Education Program for Waterbird and Wetland Conservation in and around Inle Wetland Bird Sanctuary in East Myanmar. This project is mainly aimed towards school children and their teachers with the purpose of motivating them to cooperate in the conservation of waterbirds and wetlands.
Shorebird ecologists and conservationists from Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States gathered on the Yukon Delta refuge's Bering Sea coastline from 2-13 September 2004.
As of 21 September 2004, the North East Asian Crane Site Network jumped to 28 sites with the addition of two sites from the Republic of Korea: Gumi-Haepyung Wetland and Suncheon Bay. This brings the number of crane network sites in the Republic to four.
The RIZA Wetland Advisory and Training Centre (WATC) and the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education have jointly launched the Wetland Professionals Platform. The platform will provide space for wetland professionals worldwide to interact, exchange information, announce events and training opportunities. Visit, use and bookmark www.wetlandprofessionals.org.
Presented in honour of Luc Hoffmann, one of the founders of Wetlands International, the award has been established in recognition of his outstanding legacy and achievements in wetlands science and conservation.
The Wetlands International Black Sea Programme and the Institute of Ecology (INECO) of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine organised a training course for NGO representatives. This course on Public Participation in Conservation of Small Rivers took place in Kyiv from 12-18 July 2004. Click here for the report and pictures.
The Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute is organising the International Course on African Wetland Management (ICAWM). The ICAWM, formerly known as The East African Wetland Management Course, is designed for those actively involved in either inland or coastal wetland management. It will be held in Naivasha, Kenya from 13 October - 23 November.
Wetlands International is establishing a Working Group on Wetlands and Poverty Reduction. The first workshop of the Working Group was held in Wageningen, the Netherlands on 27 August 2004
On 4 August the International Seminar on Jiuduansha Wetlands Nature Reserve was held in Shanghai, China. Wetlands International President Dr. Max Finlayson presented the opening speech, which you can read here.
Wetlands International hosted the Mid-Term workshops of the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP). A brief report is available on the Ramsar website.
Specialist Group Coordinators for July/August: Co-chairs Malcom Coulter and Wim Van den Bossche of the Stork, Ibis and Spoonbill Specialist Group.
The review shows the project highlights of our Species, Inventory, Wise Use and Capacity Building programmes over the past year. It includes a "spotlight" on the cross-cutting African/Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Flyways Project that was approved last year and will start implementation in 2005.
Wetlands International is delighted to congratulate Luc Hoffmann on the occasion of his receiving the International Association for Ecology (INTECOL) award, which was announced at the INTECOL dinner on 29th July (7th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference, Utrecht, The Netherlands).
The Fourth Working Meeting of the Ukrainian Rivers Network (URN) took place in Sevastopol city, Crimean Autonomous Republic from 23-27 June 2004. It was jointly organised by the "Dobry Svit" Environmental Nature-Conserving Organisation, "Skyphya" Environmental Regional Club, the Wetlands International Black Sea Programme and the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine.
Hilary Chiew explores the world of waterbirds and wetlands and waterbird monitoring through the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) and the latest outcomes as reported in a new regional report (1997-2001).
Wetlands International is pleased to report that the Wetlands International office in Senegal has been awarded by the Senegalese Ministry of Environment. The award is an important recognition of the office's efforts that have been undertaken not only in Senegal but also in other African countries and regions.
From 1-5 June 2004 the International Symposium for Conservation of the Black-faced Spoonbill was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The symposium was organised by the Korean Federation for Environment Movement and was attended by over 50 participants.
On 29 May 2004 the Symposium on the Conservation of Nakdong Esturary was held in Busan City. It was jointly organised by Green Korean United -Busan, Wetlands and Birds Korea and the Korean Federation for Environment Movement to make a joint effort for the conservation of the estuary.
Waterbirds, especially shorebirds are an important part of the environment, and of extremely important value to science, culture, recreation and economic development for many communities. Tidal flats around the Yellow Sea in north-east Asia are crucial feeding areas during northward and southward flights for over 5 million shorebirds that migrate every year between the Arctic and Australasia.
A report that analyses data on waterbirds and wetlands in Asia provides vital insights into major concentrations of wild waterbirds, has just been released. This report will inform national and international conservation programmes of priority sites for waterbirds and is valuable for agencies developing plans to minimize transmission of diseases, such as bird flu between farmed birds and wild birds.
The world’s waterbird populations have suffered serious declines and reductions are set to continue further unless dramatic conservation measures are taken, a major international conference in Edinbu...
On the 22nd of March 2004 Wetlands International-China has been given a great opportunity to give a presentation at the Dutch Embassy in Beijing during a high-level visit from the Netherlands. Deleg...
From 3-8 April the Waterbirds around the World conference was held. Go to the conference pages for the speeches, pictures and press cuttings as well as the Edinburgh Declaration in different language...
We are pleased to announce that Wetlands International has formally launched a new Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 1997-2001 report Numbers and distribution of Waterbirds and Wetlands in the Asia-Pacif...
The project Small rivers of Ukraine: public participation in their conservation and sustainable use, implemented by Wetlands International's Black Sea Programme, has come to a successful conclusion
The Australasian Wader Studies Group, in conjunction with Wetlands International – China, has just completed the eighth year of training, surveying and shorebird counting activities in the Chinese pa...
The Wetlands International Mali office organised a national training course on wetlands management from 8 to 13 March 2004. The course was organised in the framework of the Biodiversity Internationa...
At the CBD COP7 a decision on biodiversity and climate change was approved on 21 February 2004 regarding of the role of wetlands and particularly peatlands in relation to climate change and mitigatio...
Wetlands International is delighted to welcome Agnès Bracke who this week joined the Ramsar Sites Database team in Wageningen as a Technical Assistant. Agnès has a bachelor's degree in Agronomy speci...
The Manual for an Inventory of Asian Wetlands can now be read in no less than six languages! The original English version is complemented by five Asian languages: Thai, Khmer, Vietnamese, Lao and Ind...
Stefan Pihl features this month as Specialist Group Coordinator. He leads the Seaduck SG, among many other things
The Global Environment Centre and Wetlands International are hosting the Workshop on Integrated Management and Rehabilitation of Peatlands in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 6 and 7 Februar
Wetlands International has a vacancy for a Project and Finance Assistant, who will join the Finance Manager and Finance Officer at HQ - Closed
This day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetland
Wetlands International is keen to provide access to its expertise on waterbirds and its databases, to assist our members and the authorities to better understand the relationship, if any, between wil...
The next Goose Specialist Group meeting is coming up: it will be held from 5-10 March 2004 in Odessa, Ukrain
The Strategy and Action Plan for Mire and Peatland Conservation in Central Europe is out! This report concludes the Central European Peatland Project in which eight countries participated. The result...
This new post has been established to consolidate and to continue the growth of Wetlands International's fundraising capability. This is a demanding, challenging and exciting role, requiring a creati...
Wetlands International manages and develops the Ramsar Sites Database under contract to the Ramsar Convention Secretariat. We are very pleased to announce that the Ramsar Sites Database is now fully ...
The Wetlands International - Ukraine Office has launched the Website of the Ukrainian Rivers Network (URN) www.uarivers.net. The site consists of over 200 web-pages with information about the URN: Mi...
Doug Watkins provides a brief report on three waterbird related meetings held in Japan and Australia in December 2003
The Wetland Restoration Specialist Group delivers this month’s Specialist Group Coordinato
Under the Netherlands DGIS Junior Expert Programme, Kemi Awoyinka has recently joined the Wetlands International Netherlands Team as Wetlands and Poverty Alleviation Program Officer. Kemi holds a B....
The first Specialist Group Coordinator of the month in this new year is dr. Alan Johnson, coordinator of the Flamingo SG. Read more
Simba Chan Crane Flyway Officer announces publication of the latest issue of the Crane Newsletter (#3 of December 2003). The 34 page bumper issue contains a wealth of information on crane related con...
Wetlands International and the Global Environment Centre are organising a side event on Peatlands and Climate Change at the UNFCCC CoP held in Milan on 2 December 2003
James Kushlan is the Specialist Group Coordinator for December
A national Shorebird Workshop for Indonesia was held at Palembang and Sembilang National Park, 13-16 October 2003. Organised by the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia and Wetlands International - Indone...
The International Waterbird Census Western Palearctic and Southwest Asia Newsletter for 2003 has just come ou
The Wetlands International Ukraine office and the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine hosted the International Conference National Strategy for conservation of wetlands of U...
Under the Netherlands DGIS Junior Expert Programme a Wetlands Project Development Officer and a Capacity Building Programme Officer have joined Wetlands International
We are pleased to confirm that Jane Madgwick has been appointed as the new CEO of Wetlands International. A UK citizen, Jane Madgwick has an outstanding record of success while working both in NGOs a...
The final report of the workshop on Conservation practice of Lake Sentarum National Park for improvements of socio-economic condition, local capacity, and ecological integrity is now available. The w...
Around 30 experts who study Arctic nesting shorebirds/waders in their breeding grounds, as well as in staging and “wintering” areas all over the world, held a ground-breaking workshop on the Baltic s...
The Global Environment Facility proposal has been a complex undertaking implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme and lead by Wetlands International as the executing agency in partnersh...
Wetlands International-China, the Gansu Forestry Department-China and the Global Environment Centre will host a workshop on Peatland Conservation and Sustainable Use in Lanzhou, China, 7-9 July 2004...
The 2nd China National Waterbirds Workshop was held on 4-6th November at Dafeng, Yancheng National Nature Reserve. Waterbird managers proposed a set of specific actions that would develop the Waterbi...
This substantial issue contains information on all species of flamingos for the year 2001. A 'Latest news' section provides information on more recent events
The Threatened Waterfowl Specialist Group have produced their annual TWSG News
The Asian Waterbird Census has produced the November issue of its newsletter. It reports back on the large number of activities carried out during this year and looks ahead to the counts that will b...
James Robinson is the Specialist Group Coordinator for November
Earlier this year a dedication ceremony was held at the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre in honour of Stewart Morrison, retired CEO of Ducks Unlimited and chairman of the Wetlands International ...
Wetlands International - Indonesia Office with funding support from ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (ARCBC) has recently translated and published the Shorebird Study Manual (Howe...
In the week of 25 - 30 July 2004, Utrecht University will organise the 7th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference in the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands. This Conference will be organised under ...
The Wetlands International Russia office in cooperation with the Ministry for Nature Protection of the Russian Federation organised a workshop on the status and prospects of the Ramsar Network in Rus...
Wetlands International is involved in a partnership to develop a new finance mechanism, “Bio-rights”, which has just launched its website
BirdLife International has launched a ground-breaking guide for governments and civil society to prevent the extinction of Asia's birds, one in eight of which is under threat. HIH Princess Takamado o...
From 14-16 November 2003 the North East Asian Crane Site Network organised a workshop and symposium on the crane and stork conservation in Japan
From 30 October until 1 November the 26th Board of Directors meeting was held in Washington, USA. On the evening of the 30th, a reception for the WI network was held at the Royal Netherlands Embassy...
Waterbird managers proposed a set of specific actions that would develop the Waterbird Site Networks in China and strengthen the network of wetland and waterbird managers
Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands at a ceremony on 30 October, to host the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP9) in Ka...
On 10 October 2003 a formal dedication ceremony to the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network of the Kapar Ash Ponds Station. This internationally important site to shorebirds is the first Ne...
The Specialist Group Coordinator for the month of October is Baz Hughes of the Threatened Waterfowl Specialist Group
The Storks, Ibis and Spoonbills Specialist Group have re-introduced their twice yearly newsletter
The next Goose Specialist Group meeting will be held from 5-10 March 2004 in Odessa, Ukraine
The Wetlands International - Indonesia office has published a comic booklet for children called Adventures in the mangrove forest (Petualangan di Hutan Bakau)
On 19 and 20 December 2003 a two day seminar to promote the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in Malaysia will be held in Malaysia
The International Wader Study Group - a Specialist Group of Wetlands International and IUCN-The World Conservation Union's Species Survival Commission - has just held a technical workshop and Confere...
The Thai version of the Ramsar Fact Sheet of Thailand's Ramsar Sites was produced under the MPW, a Danida funded project managed by Ramboll and the Wetlands International-Thailand Office. It contain...
A national Shorebird Workshop for Indonesia was held at Palembang and Sembilang National Park, 13-16th October 2003. Organised by the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia and Wetlands International - Indo...
On 10 October 2003 a formal dedication ceremony was held of the Kapar Ash Ponds Station to the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network, in recognition of its international importance to shoreb...
This is to announce the passing away of Heinz Hafner, former Coordinator of the Heron Specialist Group. Heinz would be greatly missed for his dynamic leadership of the Specialist Group and contributi...
The workshop was held 9 and 10 October in order to improve communication between the national coordinators and to develop a strategy for the development of the AWC during 2004-2006
From 4-6 November 2003 a workshop on waterbirds conservation will be held in Dafeng City, China. This workshop will follow up on recommendations made at the 2002 initial workshop in Panjin
We greatly regret to announce the passing away of Dineke Beintema on Saturday 18th October 2003. Dineke was a key member of the Ramsar Sites Database Team, based in Wageningen. Dineke served Wetland...
Between 13 and 17 October two workshops are being held in Bogor, West Java: The Workshop on wise use and sustainable peatlands management practices on 13 and 14 October, and the Workshop on The ASEA...
The Wetlands International Strategy 2002-2005 now also has a Thai translation. English, French and Spanish versions were already available
Specialist Group Coordinator for the month of September is Joseph Kerekes of the Diver & Loon Specialist Group
The proceedings of the 2003 meeting of Specialist Groups, held in Wageningen, 26 -27 May 2003 have been sent with a CD rom of presentations to all SG coordinators and our partners who attended the me...
Interim CEO For Wetlands International: With Simon Nash's departure from Wetlands International Doug Taylor will step up to be Interim CEO and take over the responsibilities of the CEO post with effe...
New publication: Knowledge, Culture and Beliefs of the Semelai People of Tasek Bera. This publication documents the traditional knowledge of this indigenous people future generations
International Waterbird Census database program news: a test version of the program was recently sent to a test panel, aiming to reveal any errors or omissions left undetected by the developers. Onc...
Wetlands International - China office in cooperation with the Gansu Forestry Department and the Global Environmental Centre will hold an International Workshop on Peatland conservation and Sustainabl...
Departing message from Delmar Blasco, outgoing Secretary General of the Ramsar Bureau: "The role of the four International Organization Partners (IOPs) of the Convention: BirdLife International, IUC...
Wetlands International is delighted to welcome Karin Schneider von Deimling who joins the Ramsar Sites Database team in Wageningen as a Technical Assistant. Karin, a German national, is a biologist/g...
Wetlands International is very pleased to welcome Dr. Ebil bin Yusof, Wildlife Officer at the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Malaysia and Professor Mashhor Mansor, Dean of the School o...
In the series Specialist Group Coordinator of the Month: Gilles Deplanque
A professor of Aquatic Biology and wetland conservation, Professor Ali was born on 10 April 1955 in Kedah, Malaysia. In 1978, Prof. Ali completed his BSc in fisheries and limnology from Oregon State ...
The 2002 Annual review is now available to read and download from this site. The review gives details, programme by programme, of activities, outputs and results in 2002. Highlights include a forthri...
The quarterly update of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Shorebird Action Plan has been produced
The 8th annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee (MWCC) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 21 and 22 July 200
Wetlands International China has a vacancy for a Wetland Project Development Officer for the duration of three years - Close
The second announcement of the Sixth Woodcock and Snipe Workshop, to be held from 24 to 28 November in Nantes, France, is now available
A new item has been added to the Specialist Group pages: the Specialist Group Coordinator of the Mont
Tasek Bera, Ramsar site since 1994, is the largest freshwater swamp in Peninsular Malaysia and the home of the indigenous Semelai people. In cooperation with the Semelai Association for Boating and T...
The PIN-MATRA proposal Conserving Peatlands of Central Russia: the wise use approach to peatlands ecosystem management has been approved! The project will run until 2006
A new map of International Site Networks for migratory waterbirds in the East Asian-Australasian region has been established under the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy
The upcoming Waterbird and Limnology conference, to be held from 4 to 10 August 2003 in Sacksville, New Brunswick, Canada, will feature a Loon Session
The first Asian Waterbird Census Coordinator Workshop will be held on 9-10 October 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting will focus on the future development of the Asian Waterbird Census
The decisions of the 25th Board of Directors Meeting held last May in Wageningen, the Netherlands, are now available
Coalition launches EUR 30 million Strategy to protect West Africa's coasts and seas: Six West-African countries and fifty conservation, research and development organisations have agreed to work together on marine and coastal conservation at a high-level conference in Dakar, Senegal on 13 June.
A new study by IUCN again demonstrates the high economic value provided by the wetlands of our world
The 25th Board of Directors meeting was held in Wageningen, the Netherlands, on 24 and 25 May
On 29 April 2003, at a meeting of the United Kingdom National Ramsar Committee in Peterborough, United Kingdom, the recently concluded Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between JNCC (United Kingdom) and ...
This bilingual publication (English and French) presents the results of waterbird counts in 36 African countries from July 1998 to January 2001. A downloadable version will be available on this websi...
The May issue of the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) Newsletter has just come out. This issue provides an update of the AWC since November 2002. Special attention is given to the report for the AWC 2003...
At the World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan, Wetlands International was represented by Mr. Bakary Kone. Read the summary of his presentation Towards a wise use of the scarce river water of the Upper Nig...
Two new proposals by the Wetlands International Senegal office on conservation & awareness of black crowned cranes in West Africa have been accepted for funding by Chester Zoo
An information packed report on shorebird activities undertaken in the flyway in 2002 to implement the Action Plan for Conservation of Migratory Shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway: 2001...
Wetlands International has recently signed a Letter of Intent with the National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research (NCTWR Australia), and the Wetland Advisory and Training Centre (WATC-RIZA) , the ...
Alvin Lopez leaves Wetlands International. Alvin has been with Wetlands International since 1996. In his most recent position as the Project Leader for the Asian Wetland Inventory (AWI), he was succe...
Get involved in the Global Threatened Birds update by joining the discussion forum that has been set up by BirdLife International for this purpose
Wetlands International was saddened to learn of the passing on Tuesday 11 March 2003, of Jan Rooth. A pioneer of international wetland and waterbird conservation, he participated in the MAR Conferenc...
On Wednesday 26 March Wetlands International attended the informal farewell reception for Douglas Hykle, Dep. Executive Secretary of the Bonn Convention, who takes up a post at the UNEP office in Ban...
Get involved in the Global Threatened Birds update by joining the discussion forum that has been set up by BirdLife International for this purpose
Sunday the 2nd of February was World Wetlands Day - the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
A selection of lakes in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces were surveyed by two teams over a 3-week period in January 2003. The target species was Dunlin, but other waterbirds have been counte...
In January 2003 Wetlands International In January 2003 Wetlands International received a grant from the ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (ARCBC) for translation of the recently pub...
Wetlands International was actively involved in Ramsar COP8 (Valencia, Spain, November 2002). Read reports about side events
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office in Malaysia has called for proposals to undertake a Multi-Disciplinary Assessments (MDAs) of peat swamp forests (PSF). The MDAs are expected to ...
Wetlands International is delighted to announce that Melanie Steinkamp has joined the organization from 1/1/03 as our North American Programme Manager. Melanie will be hosted by the US Fish and Wil...
The decisions of the 24th Board of Directors Meeting held in Valencia, Spain are now available
To determine the migratory routes of the globally threatened Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor, a species restricted to eastern Asia, 11 individuals were captured and fitted with green leg bands i...
Palau joins the Ramsar Convention making it the fourth Contracting Party from Oceania
Singapore's Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve celebrated its 10th anniversary with its nomination as the 30th site in the East-Asian Australasian Shorebird Network Site. Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore...
Wetlands International is saddened to learn of the recent passing of George Atkinson-Willes, a founding father of the International Waterfowl Census and champion of waterbird conservation
Wetlands International was saddened to learn of the passing of former IWRB President, Dr. James H. Patterson who was a distinguished wetland conservationist who made outstanding contributions to Wetl...
The Wildlife Conservation Society and Wetlands International have produced a photographic guide to the turtles of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia
Wetlands International is seeking candidates for the following two Associate Expert positions: a Wetlands & Poverty Alleviation Programme Officer to be based in the Netherlands, and a Capacity Buildi...
As part of the ongoing process of organisational integration and harmonization, Wetlands International's senior managers gathered in Wageningen from 30 September to 4 October for a week of strategic ...
Hidden in the deep swampy waters of Tasek Bera is the fascinating and rare Purple Water Trumpet or Cryptocoryne purpurea. It had lain submerged in the lake's water, undiscovered, until Professor Nie...
Over the last year Wetlands International has secured funding to develop its now famous Tasek Bera Wetland Kit developed for Malaysia's first Ramsar site for use in two other countries. Cambodia Wet...
Claire Nivet, wetland inventory officer for the Pan-European Wetland Inventory review, has left Wetlands International for a planned move with her partner and son to her native France. Claire's enthu...
The first issue of the Thai version of Wetland Wonders has been produced by Wetlands International-Thailand Programme in collaboration with Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Sc...
Fairly widespread in Europe, the Black Stork Ciconia nigra remains scarce in Africa, where its population estimate is 27,500 (Rose and Scott, 1997). To join its winter quarters in Africa, the Black S...
In addition to the three Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards granted for 2002, a Recognition of Excellence has been conferred upon two individuals whose distinguished service has significantly further...
Dr. Oliver Biber has replaced Dr. Werner Suter as a Swiss National Delegate to Wetlands International. Dr. Biber is employed with the Section International Nature and Landscape (BUWAL). Dr. Biber joi...
On 16 May 2002, the Head of Mission from the New Zealand High Commision presented a cheque for RM10,000 to Wetlands International-Malaysia Programme to spearhead a project to further develop an exist...
The Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee (MWCC) responsible for coordinating the development, monitoring and implementation of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Str...
In the year 2000, Shell Malaysia Berhad sponsored the development and production of the Tasek Bera Wetlands Activity Pack. Tasek Bera, Malaysia’s first and only Wetland of International Importance o...
It is with great sadness that Wetlands International must report the death of Kazimierz Dobrowolski. Kazimierz served as the National Delegate for Poland (alongside Zygmunt Krzeminski) on the Board o...
We are pleased to announce that under the Netherlands DGIS Junior Expert Programme, Tunde Ojei has recently joined the Wetlands International West Africa Team as Specialist Group Network Development ...
The Board of Directors of Wetlands International met on 20-21 April 2002 in Wageningen, the Netherlands. This first meeting of the new Board, elected during last November's Board of Members meeting...
We are pleased to announce that under the Netherlands DGIS Junior Expert Programme, Pieter Terpstra has recently joined the Wetlands International West Africa Team as the West Africa Programme Develo...
Wetlands International was awarded the "Asia Water Management Excellence Award 2002" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 26 March 2002 for its work in promoting the conservation of water resources and wetla...
President Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China called for an increased nation-wide effort to promote the harmonious development of China's population, resources and environment at a nationa...
We are pleased to inform you that Wetlands International is currently implementing a project entitled "Status Overview and Recommendations for the White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) Central Asia...
World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on 2 February in commemoration of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, in Ramsar, Iran in 1971
For the last few years, WSG has been undertaking a major project to review and update population size estimates for all migratory wader species in the African-Eurasian region. This huge exercise comm...
New Slovenian National Delegate - Andrej Bibič has been replaced by Mrs Natasa Salaja. She is employed at DOPPS as head of Skocjanski zatok nature reserve (coastal wetland) , which is managed for th...
With the launch (ceremony) of Save the Wetlands volume 5 (formerly Wetland Wonders) on 7 August 2001, HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad (HSBC) and the New Straits Times Press have once again shown their comm...
The project aims to establish a sound information base and identified network for effective conservation actions for the Central Asian Population of the White-headed Duck. The project will review th...
The Asia Pacific Migratory Waterbirds Listserver was recently launched. The aim is to provide a forum for non-government and government organisations and individuals with an interest in sharing info...
The 2.5-year project Conservation of wetlands and wetland species in Southwest Siberia (Russian Federation) aimed at elaboration of a community-participated management vision for two important Siberi...
Doug Watkins has been appointed Manager of Wetlands International - Oceania. Doug will continue to be based at our Canberra office that is hosted by Environment Australia. He will also continue to ov...
The Asian Wetland Symposium proved to be a successful occasion for people to meet each other, share experiences, network, collaborate, and get new ideas on wetland conservation. A total of 349 partic...
More than 1300 scientists worked for five years to build our knowledge about the link between ecosystems and human well-being. The findings confirm that ecosystems are degrading rapidly, with wetla...
On 1-4 September 2000, the Regional Workshop "Wetlands Conservation in the Caucasus" was conducted in Kobuleti, Georgia. It was organised by the Georgian Center for the Conservation of Wildlife (GCCW...
The North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve (Latvia), the Nigula Nature Reserve (Estonia) and Wetlands International will jointly organise a development workshop for the North Livonian Wetland Project on Thu...
Wetlands International and the Dutch State Forestry Service Staatsbosbeheer received a second cheque of NLG 50,000 from Banrock Station winery
Wetlands International is currently drafting the Black Sea Wetlands Directory, which will include information and maps on all coastal wetlands of international and national importance. See the final ...
An inception workshop at the end of October marked the official start of a wetland conservation project in southwest Siberia (Russia). The project’s main objective is to draft a management vision fo...
Workshop on Scoter winter ecology and the impact of offshore activities organised by the Seaduck Specialist Group
An international wetland workshop took place in Odessa (Ukraine) from 26-27 September 2000. The workshop Conservation, restoration and wise-use of wetlands and wetland resources along the Black Sea c...
Ellen Amting, a Dutch National from Amsterdam joined us today as Wetland Database Management Assistant. She replaces Jantien van Oord who recently moved to Haarlem. Ellen will bring the Ramsar Databa...
The project "Support for the conservation of wetlands and wetland species in the Azov-Black Sea region of Ukraine", has produced an impressive number of outputs during its course(1997 and 2000). The ...
Wetlands International recently signed a contract with the Food and Agriculture Organization (of the UN) for a consultancy in Iran. It is a World Bank-funded Irrigation Improvement project. Wetlands ...
While the northern summer resulted in a torpid news turnover, that didn't mean that things haven't been happening elsewhere on this website! First of all, we have initiated measures to improve the sp...
Wetlands International is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Nash as our new International Director, with effect from 1st September 2000. Mr. Nash replaces the previous International Direct...
Wetlands International is pleased to inform you that from 1 September 2000, Dr. Gerard C. Boere from the Division of International Affairs of the Netherlands Ministry for Agriculture, Nature Manageme...
Libya completed its accession formalities on 5 April 2000, and the Convention on Wetlands, as amended by the Paris Protocol of 1982, will come into force for the Libyan on 5 August 2000. The new Part...
The Wetlands International West Africa office has just launched a new project with support from the British Embassy in Dakar. The focus is on community wetland initiatives, and we have chosen four se...
Vacancy for GEF project coordinator to lead the "Wetland and Waterbird Conservation along African -Eurasian Flyways" project - Closed
On 28 May 2000 Wetlands International will participate in the National Nature and Environment Fair. This Fair celebrates 45 years of "green" radio programmes produced by the VARA public broadcasting ...
An article based on a WIMSG-led project is the "Review of the Month" from the 50th Anniversary issue of the journal Marine and Freshwater Researc
Those fine folk in the Wetlands International Seaduck Specialist Group and National Environmental Research Institute, Denmark have just issued the first announcement for the next Seaduck Specialist G...
Wetlands International has recently entered into a partnership with the Banrock Wine company from Australia and the Dutch State Forestry Service to facilitate wetland restoration projects in the Net...
In a Time special edition, Earth Day 2000, the popular news magazine reports on the upcoming UN and partners' State of the Planet report. Wetlands are one of five critical ecosystems assessed in thi...
Valuable winter nesting and breeding sites on the coast of North-East England are to get extra protection, said Environment Minister, Chris Mullin. The Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Special Protectio...
After nine months intensive work by Wetlands International, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has recently approved 350,000 USD (matched by a further ca. 300,000 USD) towards the preparation of
Pablo Canevari, a long time supporter, employee and friend of Wetlands International died on 22nd March in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a result of complications following a recent illness. Pablo wa...
Plans for the construction of rowing and canoeing facilities for the Athens 2004 Olympics in the sensitive Schinias coastal wetland area are under way - WWF issues this Press Releas
March 30th 2000 - The Importance of the Black Sea Coastal Wetlands, especially for Migratory Waterbirds - workshop report Top Wetlands International's Black Sea office in Ukraine organised an intern...
The Second World Water Forum & Ministerial Conference, jointly organised by the World Water Council and the Netherlands Government, commences today in The Hague
The Wetlands International West Africa programme has recently hired 3 persons on consultancy contracts in the West Africa regional office. They are: 1. Publications Officer Charles Mamady Beye, fro...
The following newsflash is based on a press release from WWF. Wetlands International strongly supports the activities of WWF to stop the planned construction of a dam in the Vistula river. The Vistul...
Benin completed the formalities for joining the Convention on Wetlands, as amended by the Paris Protocol of 1982, and the Convention will come into force for Benin on 24 May 2000. Benin has designate...
Wetlands International's Moscow office has just published the Strategy and Action Plan for Wetland Conservation in the Russian Federation (in Russian). An English version will be published soon. The ...
Wetlands International is very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Douglas Taylor as International Science Coordinator. He will succeed Dr. Nick Davidson, who has accepted the position of Depu...
Wetlands International - Russia is organising an exhibition of children's drawings and photos on World Wetlands Day, 2nd February 2000. Here are some of the pictures received during the "Amazing Wetl...
Wetlands International - Africa Europe, Middle East is pleased to announce that its new Executive Director, James McCuaig, has taken up his duties in the Netherlands as of January 10, 2000. Jim was s...
Hot news from the International Waterbird Census in the Western Palearctic and southwest Asia. Simon Delany, assisted by a cast of literally thousands brings you all the latest news, views and statis...
28 Sept - 1st Oct 2000, Odessa, Ukraine. Following the first workshop under this project held in the Po delta in January 1999, the final gathering of the 10 participating deltas will take place by th...
The Wetland Advisory and Training Centre in Lelystad, The Netherlands -- host of the famously successful annual International Courses on Wetland Management (Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Wa...
The suggested theme for World Wetlands Day 2000 is "Celebrating Our Wetlands of International Importance". One of the texts being offered by the Ramsar Bureau in honor of WWD 2000 is an interpretatio...
Sierra Leone has become Ramsar's 118th Contracting Party and has designated as its first Wetland of International Importance (the Convention's 1014th) the "Sierra Leone River Estuary", a 295,000-hect...
On Tuesday, 7 December 1999, at the Greek Embassy in Paris, Dr. Luc Hoffmann, Director Emeritus and Counsellor of Honour for Wetlands International, was given the insignia of Commander of the Order o...
The Seaduck Specialist Group now has a Web-site, with information on its aims and activities, how to join and a downloadable version of its most recent Newsletter (No. 8)
During the recent regional workshop organised in the context of the project on fish biodiversity conservation in West African Wetlands a new association of people with an interest in West African fis...
2 February each year is World Wetlands Day -- it marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. WWD w...
By popular request, the contents of the CD report Global review of wetland resources and priorities for wetland inventory is now made available for browsing. This web version of the CD will open in
On 1 November 1999 the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Waterbirds (AEWA) entered into force. Currently 20 Range States have signed and ratified the AEWA. In the last few days Finlan...