04-Feb-2016, views: 674
Bregje van Wesenbeeck, Deltares, reporting from Demak, Indonesia
“She must be really good at writing” the villagers are whispering behind my back. I am sitting on a small bamboo platform, used for fishing, with my notebook on my lap to write down the sedimentation rates behind our permeable dams. The four guys of the team are wrestling through the mud and shout the values to me: “5 centimetres of sedimentation behind our dam”, “45 centimetres here”, “erosion in the control plot”.
29-Jan-2016, views: 399
By Ward Hagemeijer
24 January 2016, Barr al Hikman - This day’s #IWC50 count of Barr al Hikman in Oman covers the land north of the Shannah harbour. The result was good and interesting sightings were made including a Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides hunting for waterbirds. However, the highlight of today was a finding on the mudflats adjacent to our campsite, at low tide. Leon found a nice group of Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris and amongst them a bird with colour rings on its leg, probably marked by researchers all the way from Sakhalin in Eastern Russia! This very exciting record reinforces the global importance of Barr al Hikman, including it being a home to the Great Knot, a species with populations under threat.
26-Jan-2016, views: 479
Barr Al Hikman, 26 January 2016 – This past Saturday we counted 70,000 roosting birds along the shoreline of Bar Al Hikman, and another 120,000 on the sebkha (the Arabic word for salt plains), and the mangroves nearby.
12-Jan-2016, views: 781
As part of our campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Waterbird Census, we asked our partners to share their favourite images of wetlands and waterbirds. For January, David Li kindly shared some of the beautiful photos he has taken of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Singapore.
25-Nov-2015, views: 961
What do you do when mangroves fail to naturally recolonise abandoned rice fields in one of the most precious mangrove deltas of the world? Pieter van Eijk reports on a recent mission to Western Africa that paves the way for large-scale mangrove recovery through a so-called ‘ecological restoration’ approach.
16-Jul-2015, views: 1276
Wetlands International is very saddened to learn of the passing of Jean-Paul Taris who was a legendary wetland champion. Our thoughts are especially with his wife Christine, their two boys and of course with Dr Luc Hoffmann, his great friend.
10-Jun-2015, views: 1702
By Jane Madgwick, CEO Wetlands International
As I leave behind the vast and wild beauty of Uruguay’s coasts, I have some mixed feelings about the progress made at the 12th Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Conference of Parties (COP), held in Punta del Este. “What was it for?”, the uninitiated may ask. Actually I’m asking myself the same question, even though I have 25 years of experience engaging with this Convention and the COPs.
10-Apr-2015, views: 2585
The UNFCCC conference of Paris (“COP 21”), which will take place during the first two weeks of December this year, will need to square many circles in order to become a success. One of the more vicious ones concerns the level and quality of climate change mitigation commitments from Parties.
26-Mar-2015, views: 2222
By Marie-Jose Vervest - What is the best approach to restore and protect a coastline that was hit by a Tsunami? Driven by my own involvement in mangrove restoration after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and ‘Building with Nature’ approaches with Wetlands International, I attended the event ‘Global approaches to coastal resilience’ organized by READY Asia-Pacific at the WCDRR in Sendai. In this session coastal protection measures after the March 11th 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan were discussed.
14-Mar-2015, views: 2035
By Fred Pearce - In October 2013, one of the fiercest cyclones to hit the Bay of Bengal for many years made landfall on the low-lying delta coast of the Indian state of Odisha. With winds battering the coastline at more than 200 kilometres per hour, the structural damage from cyclone Phailin was intense. Thousands of straw, timber and bamboo homes were destroyed across the delta of the River Mahanadi, one of India’s largest deltas. Trees were uprooted, cars upturned and power lines broken across the delta as high winds were accompanied by a three-metre storm surge.
14-Mar-2015, views: 2134
By Fred Pearce - The Inner Niger Delta in central Mali is a giant green oasis on the edge of the Sahara desert. It is one of the country’s most productive areas, but also among its poorest. At the height of the wet season, when the River Niger is swollen by heavy rainfall in Guinea, an area the size of Belgium, from Mopti to Tombouctou, turns into a landscape of lakes.
12-Mar-2015, views: 1302
By Fred Pearce - As demand for water grows in river basins, downstream users often suffer. This is especially true when those users depend on rivers and natural wetlands, which many still regard as “wasted” water. That is the case on the river Ewaso Ngiro in Kenya, which drains from the glaciers of Mount Kenya through the heavily populated agricultural region of Laikipia in central Kenya, to the Lorian Swamp in the arid northeast.
11-Mar-2015, views: 1660
By Fred Pearce - Deforestation on the uplands of Philippine islands has been causing soil loss, landslides and flooding downstream for decades. On Mindanao, the country’s second largest island, Wetlands International and its partners are attempting to help communities in harm’s way to revitalise their ecosystems and their safety. The focus of attention is the River Agusan, the Philippines’ third longest river, which drains the island’s northeast highlands.
23-Dec-2014, views: 2051
By Susanna Tol - Also in the world of climate change, organic is the way to go. I am not writing about organic food here, despite my personal interest in the topic, but about peatlands, which are soils with a substantial layer of organic matter at or near the surface. Well, they are the way to go for the climate as long as you treat them well. If not, they become a vigorous source of greenhouse gas emissions.
19-Dec-2014, views: 2249
“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
18-Dec-2014, views: 2210
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
17-Dec-2014, views: 2087
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
16-Dec-2014, views: 2362
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.
15-Dec-2014, views: 2546
[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
30-Sep-2014, views: 2967
Or can we dream of a new world where ecology, economy and society are re-connected?
By Jane Madgwick, Chief Executive Officer
29-Sep-2014, views: 2897
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).
16-Sep-2014, views: 1771
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.
02-Sep-2014, views: 2379
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.
04-Aug-2014, views: 2632
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.
09-Jul-2014, views: 4169
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?
04-Jun-2014, views: 3468
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.
06-May-2014, views: 4257
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.
24-Mar-2014, views: 4261
By Susanne Boom - The grassy hillsides and vast forests around Rwambu wetland in south-western Uganda are not only a beautiful sight to see - it is fertile land which sustains agricultural based livelihoods, such as coffee, tea, bananas and beans. The Rwambu wetland is also a success story of integrated nature-based solutions.
21-Mar-2014, views: 4223
In Southeast Asia about 25% of plantations are currently on peat and some companies have more than 75% of their plantations on these carbon rich soils. But an increasing number of palm oil and pulp wood producing giants are announcing their commitments to no deforestation and no peatland conversion. What are their real intentions for peatlands?
27-Feb-2014, views: 4299
By Femke Tonneijck -
It was an early Saturday morning in Timbul Sloko, at the North Coast of central Java, Indonesia, and not just any Saturday. It was a day of hope. The community gathered together to discuss the rehabilitation of their lost land.
25-Feb-2014, views: 3929
By Taej Mundkur -
I recently got the chance to experience the natural beauty of Djoudj National Park in Senegal for the first time and see its conservation needs. The Djoudj is a paradise for over a million waterbirds and a lot of other biodiversity. It provides an ideal setting for developing sustainable solutions such as tourism that should allow the surrounding villages, visitors and nature to benefit from this natural wonder.
19-Feb-2014, views: 3803
By Szabolcs Nagy and Stephan Flink -
Wetlands International’s team is currently working on the 6th edition of the AEWA Conservation Status Report, which summarises the available knowledge about the size and trends of migratory waterbird populations.
04-Feb-2014, views: 6098
By Han Winterwerp
In my previous blogs, we discussed that a healthy mangrove-mud coast is dynamic, and how these dynamics are controlled by the tide and the waves. In a healthy coastal system, these processes, which bring sediment towards the coast and take the sediments away, are more or less balanced.
04-Feb-2014, views: 4432
Jane Madgwick, CEO Wetlands International
When you think of the Sahel in Africa, what picture does it conjure up? Dry sandy areas with scattered trees and perhaps hungry-looking children looking after cattle and goats? Maybe fewer of you imagine big river systems, heaving with fish, and lined with flooded forests? The magic of this zone, which stretches across Africa and borders the Sahara, is that it is both very dry and very wet. And that nature and people depend on both the drylands and wetlands and move in-between according to the seasons.
20-Jan-2014, views: 4891
By Szabolcs Nagy
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.
13-Jan-2014, views: 3838
“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.
17-Dec-2013, views: 7312
By Bas Tinhout
In the tropics, peat swamp forests are often logged and converted to oil palm and pulp wood plantations. This results in adverse effects on the natural resource base of local communities and impacts the biodiversity, water regulation and carbon storage functions of peatlands. As an alternative, paludiculture is a sustainable form of agriculture which enables the productive use of rewetted peatlands. It will prevent the oxidation of the peat carbon, thus preventing the massive natural organic carbon store from turning into the greenhouse gas CO2.
09-Dec-2013, views: 6293
By Han Winterwerp and Thorsten Balke
If you ever visit a mangrove-mud coast, you will see that the mangroves grow more or less between the waterlines at mean high water and the waterline at the highest tidal level occurring in a year. Understanding the relation between tides and mangroves is therefore essential to rehabilitation efforts.
03-Dec-2013, views: 6020
By Bakary Kone, Wetlands International Mali
The 38 floodplain forests of Mali’s Inner Niger Delta are very important to the economy and livelihoods of the 1.5 million people who live there. They contain much of the natural wealth of the delta and are therefore referred to locally as ‘banks’.
18-Nov-2013, views: 4984
Author: Yus Rusila Noor, Wetlands International, Indonesia
Often conservation work starts with individual initiatives. The stories of Haji Madsahi and Babah Akong emphasize the value of local knowledge and initiative for the restoration of coastal ecosystems. They have both received awards for their work and Wetlands International now works with them, so that their efforts can be further scaled up.
14-Nov-2013, views: 6474
A controversial report from a technical committee of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is under-estimating the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by palm oil grown on tropical peatlands by nearly 50%, according to NGOs.
12-Nov-2013, views: 4931
Author: Marcel Silvius
Oil palm cultivation on peatlands is seen as an attractive option for many plantation developers in Southeast Asia. Not only is the land extensively available, the soils – despite the poor soil fertility – are somehow “working” for oil palm cultivation. Peatlands can therefore be perceived as lucrative and attractive for expansion of oil palm plantations.
So why then is oil palm on peat a path to disaster? We highlight two major impacts in this article. Firstly, peatland drainage for oil palm results in substantial carbon emissions. Secondly it results in flooding and land loss as a result of soil subsidence. We also offer some solutions.
Full article featured in sustainable Palm Oil: Conversation and Debate
05-Nov-2013, views: 4229
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.
17-Oct-2013, views: 7412
By Mark Spalding
My colleagues and I have just worked out how much carbon there is in the world’s mangrove forests, give or take a bit. And we mapped it. And here’s why these findings are tremendously important.
13-Oct-2013, views: 4570
Sobé and other villages in the Mali Inner Niger Delta are threatened by the desert's sand. Communities are forced to rebuild their homes every two years to avoid burial by sand dunes, which are moving as a result of degradation of the Savannah.
13-Oct-2013, views: 5689
By Etwin Kuslati, Wetlands International Indonesia
What do you do when your house is slowly being swallowed by the sea???
This is the question that Wetlands International was asked to advise on by the community of Timbul Sloko Village, on the North coast of Central Java, Indonesia.
13-Oct-2013, views: 4643
How to get the attention from the government, private sector, communities and press at the same time for water availability problems downstream the river? In Kenya local indigenous peoples organizations managed to come up with an eye-catching initiative. They organized a Camel Caravan.
23-Sep-2013, views: 8326
In my previous blogs, I have tried to convince you that the erosion of mangrove-mud coasts is directly related to thoughtless land-use. Though the observations are self-evident, we need to understand the underlying physical processes before we can think of mitigating measures. And that is only possible if we understand the behavior of a healthy mangrove-mud coast.
22-Aug-2013, views: 4372
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.
15-Aug-2013, views: 8053
- By Stefan Verschure
I spent 4 months doing fieldwork in Timbul Sloko, a small village in Demak District, on the North coast of Central Java (Indonesia). I was there as part of a Wetlands International project to restore the eroding mud coast of the village through hybrid engineering.
15-Jul-2013, views: 6779
02-Jul-2013, views: 15225
In my previous blogs, I described the large losses of our mangrove heritage, in spite of the great value of these ecosystems. Today, I argue that these losses are caused by thoughtless land-use.
23-Jun-2013, views: 7194
A week before US President Obama descends on Senegal to encourage the tracking down of terrorists in the region, I joined our Africa team and my international Supervisory Council there to investigate issues related to a more fundamental security challenge – relating to increasingly scarce water resources. As we witnessed in Mali last year, water security, human conflicts and mass migrations are closely intertwined in this fragile Sahelian zone.
14-Jun-2013, views: 5667
By Vera Coelho
The round of applause at the end of the REDD+ negotiations in Bonn reflected the relief of the Parties at having concluded work on several difficult issues. But their efforts will not stop deforestation and forest degradation.
24-May-2013, views: 5358
At the 4th session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, a green elephant seemed to be standing at the back of the plenary room.
15-May-2013, views: 9776
By Han Winterwerp and Bregje van Wesenbeeck
In my first blog, I introduced the term “ecosystem services”, which has become a popular way to refer to the value of ecosystems. This is an important concept as it provides a counter-argument to the often narrow-minded and short-eyed approach of economics.
11-Apr-2013, views: 8716
By Han Winterwerp -
In my previous blog, I have tried to explain the importance of mangrove mud coasts. Of course, these coasts are beautiful, exotic environments, with rare species, such as the mud skipper and numerous crabs, as well as rare birds.
27-Mar-2013, views: 16478
By Han Winterwerp -
I am an engineer. I am a civil engineer and I work with “cohesive sediment”, which is a fancy term for mud. Mud is all over the place, in lakes and rivers, in river mouths (estuaries) and inlets, along the coast and in the deep ocean.
21-Jan-2013, views: 6163
By Audrie J. Siahainenia
Mangrove ecosystems are by definition muddy. Land and sea animals happily live and reproduce in these coastal forests, but such muddy conditions can present a bit of challenge for researchers.
08-Dec-2012, views: 6526
- By Vera Coelho -
The United Nations’ climate summit in Doha has come to an end after two weeks of heated and protracted negotiations. Amongst limited progress, the general trend has been to delay decisions and refer further discussions to next year.
03-Dec-2012, views: 6391
- By Vera Coelho -
29-Nov-2012, views: 5927
By Vera Coelho -
The first few days in Doha at the Climate Conference have been relatively quiet. After a full day of opening ceremonies, delegates sat down for real business on Tuesday and Wednesday. Discussions focused on organisation of work and future ways forward but now that the first half of the first week has passed, one can definitely feel a change in pace.
22-Nov-2012, views: 5691
By Vera Coelho.
I admit it: before joining Wetlands International I had never even seen a mangrove. I knew about these funny trees with their roots in brackish water, but I also admit that I had no idea of the amazing ecosystems they are. All of that changed recently, when I had the opportunity to join colleagues from seven of our Wetlands International offices at a meeting in our Indonesia office, in Bogor.
22-Nov-2012, views: 5889
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.
25-Oct-2012, views: 5927
By Ritesh Kumar
As the Conservation Programme Manager for South Asia, I represented Wetlands International at the 11th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India that concluded on October 20, 2012. Going from one side event to the other, either presenting or joining discussion panels, this conference in my home country was a very satisfying experience for me. With you, I’d like to share several positive outcomes and actions:
26-Sep-2012, views: 7346
By Aprianto Masjhur
Peatlands have been recognised for their high carbon storage and their potential to emit a huge amount of carbon emissions once they are drained. Their annual carbon emissions of 2 billion tonnes are a paramount issue in the global effort to mitigate climate change. However, the perilous and far-reaching consequences from peat drainage activities are not limited to carbon loss only. Another key concern that so far has been given insufficient attention is the issue of ‘subsidence’.
08-Sep-2012, views: 6322
The three main negotiation tracks under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have held informal sessions in Bangkok, Thailand between 30 August and 5 September 2012. The sessions were not mandated to produce negotiating text, but were seen as a necessary forum for discussion before the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18), which will take place in Doha, Qatar at the end of November.
19-Jul-2012, views: 7810
By Maria Nuutinen, FAO
17-Jul-2012, views: 7540
What would you do if your community was hit by a tsunami? When confronted with disaster, human responses vary: despair, anger, disbelief, sorrow. Planting trees might not be the first thing that comes to mind.
11-Jul-2012, views: 7087
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.
09-Jul-2012, views: 5438
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.
13-Apr-2012, views: 4624
By Ward Hagemeijer, Corporate Relations Manager
First impressions from the NGO science partnership workshop with Shell, 4-5 April 2012, Texel.
08-Feb-2012, views: 6760
My name is Mamadou. I am a journalist working for 'What If We Change', an interactive video platform which gives insights in the daily lives of people that depend on ecosystems such as wetlands. I am your eyes and ears in Mali where I work together with Wetlands International to improve water management and support ecosystem restoration in the Inner Niger Delta. By sharing my films and stories I hope to draw your attention for the millions of people that rely on the sustainable use of this beautiful wetland.
08-Dec-2011, views: 8345
By Susanna Tol, from the UN Climate Summit in Durban. For two weeks, I am at the climate summit in Durban, meeting governmental delegations from all over the world to get the emissions from wetland degradation addressed.
16-Sep-2011, views: 8649
Enormous logs float by while we navigate the Agusan river on Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines. A silent testimony of decades of ravaging sawmills and chainsaws that denuded most of the archipelago's once virgin hill slopes. The noisy motor of our boat stirs up a deeply brown-coloured mixture of water and sediment. Two decades ago, local fishermen tell me, the water was clear and readily drinkable.
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