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Symposium highlights importance of wetlands for abating climate change


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. 

Today’s symposium was connected to the triennial Members Meeting of Wetlands International. Governmental and NGO members from all over the world met and considered the 10 year forward strategy of the global organisation, 2011-2020.

Consensus on the role of wetlands in a changing climate

The attendees of the symposium all shared the view that wetlands are of growing importance for their role in abating climate change and its impacts. The waterlogged wetland peatsoils store globally 550 Gton of carbon; twice the amount of all the world's forests. Many wetland types are also crucial to prevent disasters following climate related extreme weather events. Natural lakes and marshes are key areas for storing excessive rainfall and for releasing water during a prolonged, extreme drought.

New strategy highlighting climate issues

At this meeting, Wetlands International, the global wetland NGO, presented its new strategy for the coming decade. A new and prominent element of the strategy is the focus to promote the role of wetlands as natural infrastructure, with a valuable and as yet under-estimated role in climate mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

According to Jane Madgwick, the CEO of Wetlands International “It is clear from the evidence presented from all regions of the world that there is a convincing economic case to restore and manage wetlands as a strategy to address climate change, alongside sustainable development, It makes sense for greater attention and investment to be made in this direction.

For more information about the Symposium, the Communiqué and the new strategy of Wetlands International, go to

 See the communique of this symposium.

Jane Madgwick

Chief Executive Officer, Wetlands International


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