By Paul Brotherton
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 Hague, The Netherlands - With the societal and environmental costs of wetland degradation already huge and growing fast, Wetlands International brought over 100 current and prospective partners and supporters together to explore opportunities for positive action to sustain and restore wetlands in a reception at the atmospheric De Glazen Zaal (Glass Room) in the Hague. The evening featured an interactive marketplace to showcase some of our current initiatives, plus distinguished speakers and interviews with current partners on how our work with different sectors is helping to protect and restore wetlands. In addition to celebrating World Wetlands Day, the event also featured the launch of Wetlands International’s new logo.
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.
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.
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.
by Jane Madgwick, CEO Wetlands International
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.
March 22, 2013: On World Water Day 2013, water issues are more critical than ever, and affect everyone around the globe. The UN has proclaimed 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation, and Wetlands International is doing its part to promote the role of wetland ecosystems as natural water infrastructure.
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.
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.
This article "Issues in the Inner Niger Delta: Interview with Bakary Kone, Director of Wetlands International Mali Office" is published in the book 'The Ecosystem Promise' by Meindert Brouwer.
Stockholm, Sweden - Wetlands International calls for action to address urgent water security issues that are undermining the health and livelihoods of millions of people through our participation at World Water Week, which features the theme “Water and Food Security.” As part of high level discussions on the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus, and in order to draw attention to the emerging phenomenon of ‘water grabbing’, we are showcasing our work in Mali where the wetlands of the Inner Niger Delta are critical for the food and water security of over one million people.
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.
11th meeting of the Ramsar Convention (COP11) 6-13 July 2012 in Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, Romania - Wetlands International will press for adoption of resolutions at the Ramsar Conference of Parties that call upon countries to take action on some of the most pressing challenges facing wetlands, such as energy production and pesticide use in rice fields. As an International Organisation Partner (IOP) we will also urge for a climate change resolution that commits Contracting Parties to take up the newly available incentives to invest in the protection, restoration and sustainable use of their peatlands, as part of their strategies to address climate change.
Marseille - The combined impacts of new infrastructure schemes and a warmer climate will cause extremely low water levels in the West Sahelian Niger River, impacting the millions downstream and the wider economy. Extremely low water levels in the Niger River are expected to become a regular phenomenon. Wetlands International will present the latest figures based on research with partners. The organisation calls for a moratorium both on new infrastructure schemes and on the extension of existing ones in this water-scarce part of Africa.
Presentation of the new facts and forecasts about the impacts of planned dams as well as climate change on the Niger River marshes and the people and nature depending on these.
Tuesday 13 March 2012
15.00 – 15.30
Press centre World Water Forum, Marseille
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.
By Pieter van Eijk
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.
Wetlands International organised a global symposium, connected to the launch of the 2011-2020 strategic intent. This international symposium offered a unique opportunity to consider a range of national and regional experiences in the management and restoration of wetlands; and to define global priorities in relation to the science, policies and practices of wetland management.
29 October 2010. Wetlands International is relieved by the successful outcome of the Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan. The approved 20 targets for 2020 are an important step to save our global biodiversity, including wetland areas.
Nagoya, Japan - Today, the UN Biological Diversity Convention in Japan has started on its second and last week. The aim to agree on ambitious global targets for the coming decade will be challenging; success is uncertain. The pace of the negotiations is slow.
Nagoya, Japan (CBD) - Wetlands International will hold two press conferences at the conference of the UN Biological Diversity Convention (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan in the morning of Thursday 21st of October, 2010.
Nagoya, Japan (CBD) - The Niger River is a lifeline for the Sahelian countries of Mali and Niger. Depending on the rainwater in Tropical West African Country of Guinea, the river fills the large Inner Niger Delta; a seasonal flooded area for one million people and millions of migratory waterbirds. A combination of upstream dams and expected climate change impacts may mean a disaster for these biodiversity and human values.
While global biodiversity loss increases at alarming rates, ministers are gathering in Japan for the most important biodiversity meeting of the decade. During this CBD meeting, a clear picture will be presented on the worsening state of the world’s biodiversity. Yet little in the way of additional action or commitment is expected from the governments in attendance.
One in five species of plants and animals that live in fresh water in Africa is threatened with extinction. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive assessment of 5,167 freshwater species by 200 scientists over the past 5 years.
The International Day of Biodiversity is Saturday 22 May. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and the year that the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will conclude that the aims to reduce biodiversity loss have not been achieved. According to Wetlands International, this crisis for biodiversity is directly connected to the global water crisis that is threatening our planet.
The world’s wetlands such as rivers, mangroves, deltas and lakes are degrading faster than any other ecosystem type. Increasingly many are reaching the critical stage where damage will be irreversible which has serious repercussions for the water and food security of poor people. This is revealed in the in-depth review on inland waters (wetlands) which is being discussed at the technical meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which kicked off Monday in Nairobi.
Celebrating World Wetlands Day, today's spotlight is on the importance of wetlands for reducing impacts of climate change. Globally, there is a growing recognition of the key role that the protection and restoration of wetlands like marshes, peatlands, mangroves and coral reefs can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to its impacts. Now, this recognition has to be turned into action.
Climate change is now named as the cause of the severe drought in eastern Africa. While this may be true, poor wetland management, especially unsustainable use of water resources, is the root cause of the totally drying up of normally wet areas. This situation currently threatens millions of people in the region and has already caused mass starvation of cattle and wildlife.