Wetlands and the Tsunami
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.
Safeguarding wetland systems in the region will also help secure sufficient freshwater supplies. Although these coastal environments have evolved over long periods of time, human development pressures have weakened the ability of ecosystems to quickly respond and recover without human intervention. As part of the global response to the disaster, the Ramsar Convention has asked Wetlands International to coordinate efforts to bring together scientifically sound advice on wetlands in the region in order to assist governments in choosing the most effective response measures. Together with Ramsars international partners and other relevant research, environmental and aid organisations, we are currently building a web site to deliver this sound advice. This joint effort also allows all these organisations to combine resources, share information and produce timely advice as and when it is needed. This site will deliver sound advice on the role of wetland ecosystems in providing a range of services to local populations and guide priority activities, such as the restoration of mangrove systems. Such information can help inform the settlement and re-development plans in the region, but can also be used when deciding on preventative measures in other parts of the world.