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Four Wetlands International projects in GEF 20 best


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.



To celebrate its 20th Anniversary, the GEF announced “20 Projects to Showcase 20 Historic Years of Environmental Finance”, highlighting the most successful environmental projects undertaken in its history, in collaboration with partner agency United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Since its founding in 1991, GEF has approved more than 460 projects to be implemented by UNEP with a total value of over US $920 million.

Wetlands International's projects

Wetlands International was involved as a partner in four of the 20 announced best projects and led the work on two of them. The inclusion of these four projects recognises that wetlands are on the front lines of key development challenges faced by the world. It also reflects the quality, breadth and scope of the organisation’s work. This achievement is possible only through the hard work and commitment of our offices, members, and partners, including local communities.

Lead partner

Wetlands International led the following two projects:

  • Enhancing Conservation of the Critical Network of Sites of Wetlands Required by Migratory Waterbirds on the African/Eurasian Flyways (Wings Over Wetlands). TheCritical Site Network is an online tool that provides detailed information for over 300 species of waterbirds and the important wetland sites upon which they depend in Africa and Western Eurasia. This initiative enables governments and other organisations to identify the measures needed to support waterbird populations. It strengthens the implementation of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Read the full description


  • Integrated Management of Peatlands for Biodiversity and Climate Change: The Potential of Managing Peatlands for Carbon Accumulation While Protecting biodiversity. This project pioneered new techniques to rehabilitate over 30,000 hectares of peatlands in China, Indonesia and Russia, and provided the first figures on the alarming greenhouse gas emissions caused by peatlands degradation worldwide. It also brought worldwide attention to the work of Wetlands International restoring peatlands to protect biodiversity and store carbon. Read the full description

Project partner 

Wetlands International was a partner in the following two projects:

  • Development of a Wetland Site and Flyway Network for Conservation of the Siberian Crane and Other Migratory Waterbirds in Asia. This project was the first of its kind to protect populations of migratory waterbirds, via a so-called ‘flyway approach’, aiming to maintain the wetlands these birds depend on. The project spanned three continents, boosting the protection of the key wetlands for the Siberian Crane and other waterbirds while improving water supplies for millions of people. Read the full description 

  •  Reversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand. Working with seven countries in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand, this project improved regional coordination to address the degradation of mangroves, wetlands, coral reefs and sea grass beds. Read the full description

The full list of twenty projects is available on the UNEP website.

About the Global Environmental Facility

The GEF was established in 1991. As an independent financial organisation, the GEF is the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment, including those related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.

The GEF is the financial mechanism for four Multilateral Environment Conventions, and assists countries in meeting their obligations under these Conventions, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

For more information on the GEF visit:


Alex Kaat

Communications Manager

Wetlands International

alex.kaat @

Phone +31 (0)318 660910 

or +31 (0)6 50601917 (cell phone) 


Press contact

Communications and Advocacy Department