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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brussels, Belgium – Wetlands International welcomes the European Commission’s Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources. The Communication to the Parliament and European Council recognises the benefits of river restoration and green infrastructure to improve the ecological status of Europe’s waters. However, bolder steps are needed to address the increasing threats to Europe’s waters.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Today, we have put the website in its new format live. See our global site as well as the sites for Africa and for Latin America and our site showing the Ramsar wetland database.
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