The world water forum in Mexico could have been the place to agree about the global challenges of wetland destruction, floods and droughts. It is not. Companies are overwhelmingly attending to sell their water-related products, not to contribute to sustainable solutions. Government leaders and representatives are present to support these national industries, not to decide about global approaches and solutions.
Wetlands International is playing an active role at the forum to present another story to the attendants that could make a difference. A story about the need to protect highland wetlands in the Himalayas in order to prevent droughts and floods in downstream areas in China, India and Bangladesh. A story about the need to look very critically at water infrastructure schemes that are developed in the name of poverty reduction but actually contribute to it. A story about the need to protect coastal wetlands like mangroves and reefs in order to protect the nursery grounds of fish and crustaceans and to protect the coasts against cyclones and future tsunamis. And a story about the need for wetlands to be able to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals on poverty reduction.
The main message is that fora such as this fail to promote action to reduce poverty for the majority but enable business as usual for the minority.
Wetlands International is providing their views by presentations, a stand with clear promotional materials (see our policy brief) and active advocacy work. Together with WWF-International, we will present our views in a press conference.
Date: 20th of March 2006
Time: 11.00 ‘o clock
Place: Room A, Press center, Convention area.
Alex Kaat: Communication Manager Wetlands International
Cell phone in Mexico: +52 552094 7695
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