Mumtadar called from the pond where he was setting nets. Life was good since they planted the mangroves along the dyke, he said. He caught more fish in his pond, and they grew bigger and quicker.
by Fred Pearce
“The wave was higher than the trees. The sea came right over the village. Every building was destroyed, including all 300 houses. About 180 people were killed, more than half the population. The only people who survived were those who ran for the hills.” That’s how they tell it in the cafe at the entrance to Keude Unga on Aceh’s west coast, which took the full brunt of the tsunami.
by Fred Pearce
Layeun is famous among the tsunami villages of Aceh. Bill Clinton came here earlier this year and brought the media. He called for new help to rebuild the lives of the fishing community whose homes disappeared beneath the waves during the tsunami.
By Fred Pearce
Precisely 256 people were living in Gampong Baro on the day the tsunami hit. Just under half of them died. Just 24 bodies were found, while 97 are registered forever “missing”. Their names and ages are all listed on a stone memorial in the heart of the village.
by Fred Pearce
Azhar, leader of Lham Ujong, is a proud man. Proud of the pictures in his album of him shaking hands with dignitaries bringing aid money to the village. Proud of his Olympic torch, which he helped take round Jakarta in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics of 2008 – a privilege he was nominated for by Wetlands International. And proud especially of the trees planted in huge numbers round his village in the aftermath of the tsunami.
[This article originally appeared at Yale Environment 360, a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.]
The tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004 obliterated vast areas of Aceh province. But villagers there are using an innovative microcredit scheme to restore mangrove forests and other coastal ecosystems that will serve as a natural barrier against future killer waves and storms.
By Fred Pearce
11 December 2014, Manila - Only one year after the deadly Typhoon Haiyan, which left behind over 6,000 casualties, Typhoon Hagupit has taken at least 20 lives before being downgraded to a tropical depression.
Lima, Peru – IUCN, Conservation International and Wetlands International presented a new guidebook to financing wetland carbon programs and projects during the climate conference in Lima last weekend. It will help project and program developers through the maze of financing mechanisms and options out there.
In response to the recent H5N8 outbreaks and speculation about the role of wild birds, the UN Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds (of which Wetlands International is a member) released a statement to inform stakeholders about the potential interaction between wild birds and H5N8 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus and appropriate ways of taking action. The statement highlights the need to protect wild birds and wetland areas as part of disease control measures. View the statement.
Much more attention is needed for greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands at the climate negotiations, according to Wetlands International. We will therefore put the spotlights on these carbon rich ecosystems at the Climate Conference in Lima, Peru next week, with the aim to get strong incentives for peatland conservation and restoration in a new climate agreement to be adopted in Paris next year.
Wetlands International is pleased to invite you for an evening reception in the European Parliament on 10 December 2014, hosted by Mr Ricardo Serrão Santos, Member of the European Parliament. The event will bring together Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and practitioners in Disaster Risk Reduction and development.
Ede, World Fisheries Day, 21st of November
Some 210 million people live in low elevation areas within 10 km of mangroves and many of these directly benefit from mangrove-associated fisheries. Yet, these people are often unaware of the key role mangroves may play, especially if the associated fisheries are offshore.
Joint Press Statement - 20th November 2014
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Five of the world’s leading consumer goods manufacturers and retailers today announce their support to drive the transformation of their sector towards responsible palm oil production and sourcing.
The International Waterbird Census (IWC), coordinated by Wetlands International, is one of the world's largest and longest-running monitoring programmes. Over the years the census has provided key information to support the conservation of waterbird populations and the habitats upon which they depend. In September 2014, Wetlands International members and stakeholders met to review our recent progress and look ahead for to the future of the programme.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
What are the next steps for RSPO and its members in relation to palm oil and peatlands? 2013 was an important year with new Principles & Criteria (P&C ) adopted to address ‘peatsoil subsidence’ and ‘greenhouse gases’, both resulting from peatland drainage for palm oil plantations. Now the challenge is to get these P&C’s applied and monitored successfully, and to even go some steps further and turn the RSPO into the frontrunner for the entire sector. Wetlands International participates in the 12th roundtable to raise further awareness on peatlands, particularly on ‘peat soils subsidence’ and to provide input and guidance for next steps for the RSPO and its members.
Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis, CARE Nederland en Wetlands International lanceren vandaag samen met Nudge de ‘Dijk van een Wijk’-competitie. Dat maakte Sander de Kramer maandag namens de organisaties bekend in het programma Koffietijd op RTL4. De competitie wordt georganiseerd om mensen in Nederland op een leuke manier bewust te maken van hoe zij samen met anderen hun directe leefomgeving op een duurzame manier leefbaarder en veiliger kunnen maken. Mensen met een idee ter verbetering van hun wijk rond de thema’s energie, groen, water of veiligheid, kunnen zich aanmelden op www.dijkvaneenwijk.org. Het winnende wijkteam ontvangt een geldbedrag van €10.000,- voor de uitvoering van hun idee.
Study Offers Practical Guidance for Coastal Decision-Makers
Zoological Society of London, United Kingdom, 6 November, 2014: A new guidebook on mangroves as a coastal defence finds that mangroves can reduce risk from a large number of coastal hazards. The role of mangroves in coastal defence has been widely promoted since the tsunami that struck South-East Asia in 2004. Yet, the level of protection provided by mangroves has been subject to debate.
The Dutch Soy Coalition (formed by eight development and environmental organisations*) finds that in 2013, only a quarter of the 2.4 metric tons of soy used in the Netherlands is responsibly produced. The social or environmental consequences of the production of the other three quarters of the imported soy, are not at all clear or accounted for. The target of the Netherlands is to purchase 100 percent responsible soy by 2015. This will be almost impossible to achieve now.
Date: 30 October, Venue: Glazen Zaal in The Hague. IUCN Netherlands, Wetlands International and Both Ends, allied in the Ecosystems Alliance, invite you to meet on 30 October with civil society representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Through their knowledge and experience, civil society organizations in soy and palm oil exporting countries have an important contribution to make to Dutch and EU sustainability goals, including the recent commitment to reach zero-deforestation in 2030.
At the recent Wetland Solutions Stakeholder Forum in Rotterdam held on 22 September 2014, we interviewed some of our stakeholders on why wetlands are important to them. Here is what they said:
Or can we dream of a new world where ecology, economy and society are re-connected?
By Jane Madgwick, Chief Executive Officer
Great article in Dutch newspaper 'De Volkskrant' about our pilot project in Northern Java where we are using a 'Building with Nature' approach to restore the severely eroded shoreline. This is a problem that occurs along most of the coastline in Java threatening over 30 million people in the long term. The pilot has very promising results as the title also suggests; translated 'mushy porridge turns into solid coast'.
An unprecedented large group of governments, companies, NGOs and indigenous peoples groups called for action to protect and restore the world’s forests. In a declaration launched at this week’s UN climate talks in New York, targets are set to stop deforestation, support sustainable alternatives and restore forests. This should lead to a cut in carbon emissions to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Wetlands International endorses the Forest Declaration to send a message to world leaders to support a climate agreement in Paris in 2016 and take forests and land use into account.
By Jaap van Thiel de Vries, Ecoshape
Last week, I visited Indonesia together with Femke Tonneijck from Wetlands International to meet our partners that are involved in the development of a Building with Nature approach to solve the severe erosion along the muddy Northern coast of Central Java (Demak district).
Rotterdam, the Netherlands – To commemorate 60 years of Wetlands International and its predecessors on Monday 22 September Wetlands International co-hosted a global stakeholder forum at the World Trade Center Rotterdam, together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment of the Netherlands. This was followed by an awards reception and a meeting of the Member Delegates and Board of Association.
Wetlands International awarded the Staff Medal of Excellence to two individuals on Monday. Daniel Blanco of Argentina and Ritesh Kumar of India are recognised for special achievement amongst Wetlands International’s global staff.
Wetlands International awarded the Luc Hoffmann Medal for Excellence in Wetland Science and Conservation to two individuals on Monday. Dr. W.J. Wolff of the Netherlands won the medal in the category of Scientific Research. Ms. Ikal Angelei of Kenya won the medal in the category of Communication, Education and Public Awareness.
In the new book “Downstream Voices” commissioned by Wetlands International, Fred Pearce takes you along his journey to three large river basins in India, Mali and Senegal where Wetlands International improves water resource management and the condition of wetlands to make communities more resilient to extreme weather events and impacts from climate change.
As part of Wetlands International’s 60 year anniversary celebration, we will award our highest honour at an evening reception Monday 22 September in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
On 21 – 23 September 2014, Wetlands International will celebrate its work and achievements over the past 60 years in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. A ‘Wetland Solutions for water, people and nature’ event will exchange ideas on how to increase the impact of wetland solutions. This will be followed by a meeting of the Member Delegates and Board of Association.
Wetlands International invites you to three inspiring workshops on improving water resource and wetland management for more resilient deltas at the conference Deltas in Times of Climate Change II, which will take place in Rotterdam in the Netherlands from 24-26 September.
By Marta Andelman, Wetlands International Argentina -
“The natural flow of water in the Parana Delta is altering,” tells a local farmer. “We know this is caused by the increasing amount of infrastructure for the conversion of the Parana Delta wetlands into soy plantations. There is evidence that as a result, communities are no longer protected during the regular floods that occur in the Delta.” He is eager to find solutions for this problem affecting the region as well as adjacent territories.
Wetlands International welcomes new commitments by the Indonesia government to strengthen law enforcement of the moratorium on new permits to develop peatlands and primary forests.
We deeply regret to announce that our dear friend and colleague, Andres Kuresoo passed away at his home on 2nd September. Andres was a pivotal figure in waterbird and wetland conservation. He was the Estonian national coordinator of the International Waterbird Census for many years and also a Member Delegate of his country to Wetlands International.
By Susanna Tol
“Yes, we are illiterate sir, but we are engineers as far as our experience with water and rivers is concerned”, says Phushi Mahato, a villager in the Gosi Kandak floodplains in North-Bihar in India.
- INVITATION FOR 1 OCTOBER 2014 -
Currently, drained peatlands for agriculture and forestry are the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) in the Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use sector. Join over 120 colleagues working on peatlands and climate change mitigation from all over the world, and enrol now for the webinar 'Challenges and Solutions for Responsible Peatlands Management', organised by FAO, through the web form.
Thanks to an active and laborious fire-fighting operation the recent peat and forest fires in Tver Province were localised and the region was saved from events becoming as dramatic as in 2010 when dense smoke haze covered the city of Moscow for weeks. Still, the region’s economy and ecology again suffered severely from the fires, as well as the climate.
Wetlands International argues that restoration of degraded and abandoned peatlands, is one of the key solutions to avoid often reoccurring dry weather related fire events, and to reduce the release of huge amounts of peat-related carbon emissions.
RSPO members are responsible for 60% of global palm oil production. With such a large and growing responsibility, the RSPO must push on to create a level playing field for sustainable palm oil, argues Marcel Silvius.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Communications and Advocacy Department
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