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Entries for November 2013

13-Jan-2014

By Szabolcs Nagy

“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

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

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

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’.

19-Nov-2013

Ministers Meeting at global climate talks in Warsaw should heed the lessons of past disasters.

The following joint statement on the need for increased public adaptation financing was released today by The Nature Conservancy, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), BirdLife International and Wetlands International, at the United Nations global climate change conference now underway in Warsaw, Poland.

18-Nov-2013

Outsiders and newcomers to the United Nations climate negotiations are easily overwhelmed by the complexity of discussions around land use and forestry. But this might change in 2015.

18-Nov-2013

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

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.

 

13-Nov-2013

Authors: Femke Tonneijck, Wetlands International; Bregje van Wesenbeeck, Deltares; and Mark Spalding, The Nature Conservancy

Inhabitants of low lying delta areas are particularly exposed to flooding and erosion caused by storms and hurricanes. These pressures increase with climate change and sea level rise. Coastal wetlands, such as mangroves, can play a key role in damage mitigation during disasters, as well as in stabilising coastlines. They also contribute to aquaculture and fisheries. Integration of ecosystem-based coastal protection in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction policies and resulting measures to conserve these landscapes are essential if mangroves are to keep protecting us. Full article featured in Outreach Magazine.

12-Nov-2013

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
 

11-Nov-2013

Medan, Indonesia – 11th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil

Oil palm growers, the food, cosmetics and oil industry, governments, scientists and environmental and social groups from all over the world participate this week in the 11th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT11 RSPO). The main theme of this year’s meeting is “RSPO Standard 2013. Understand. Apply. Embrace”. Wetlands International has been involved in the review process of the RSPO Principles and Criteria (P&C) and will actively participate in the Roundtable meeting.

05-Nov-2013

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.

05-Sep-2014

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.

04-Aug-2014

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.

29-Jul-2014

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/.

11-Jul-2014

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.

03-Jun-2014

The Panamanian delegation and Wetlands International call for ecosystem conservation in Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Americas (RP14), held last week in Ecuador, concluded with little attention for one of the root causes of increased disaster risk: Environmental degradation. Ecosystems, such as wetlands, in a healthy state provide many benefits and play a key role in disaster risk reduction (DRR). Nevertheless, they received few mentions during the entire platform of three days, and in the final Communiqué their role is limited as a topic to be addressed in cases of transboundary risk management.

17-May-2014

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.

06-May-2014

By Marta Andelman, Wetlands International Argentina -

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. 

28-Apr-2014

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).

24-Mar-2014

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.

25-Feb-2014

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

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

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

Today, people and organisations all over the world celebrate World Wetlands Day. The theme this year is “Wetlands & Agriculture: Partners for Growth”. This day was created by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits. 

29-Jan-2014

The recent outbreak of the H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza is causing many victims amongst poultry and wild birds in the Republic of Korea. The Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds has issued a statement on this outbreak saying that there is currently no evidence that wild birds are the source of this virus. Instead the focus of disease control actions must be on the domestic poultry sector.

23-Jan-2014

Brussels. The European Commission’s proposal for a climate and energy package for the period between 2020 and 2030 may throw the door wide open to imports of dirty fuels from tar sands and endanger sustainability criteria for biofuels.

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TweetId: 528131149910929408 Wetlands Int. retweeted IUCN NL IUCNNL IUCNNL Representatives from Indonesia and Argentina discuss challenges of sustainable soy and palm oil #agrocom http://t.co/3cvRbQnMqF 31-10-14 10:27
TweetId: 528131062635851776 Wetlands Int. retweeted IUCN NL IUCNNL IUCNNL Walhi: Palm oil plantations in Indonesia now cover an area the size of NL, Belgium and Denmark combined #agrocom 31-10-14 10:27
TweetId: 528131010441912320 Wetlands Int. retweeted IUCN NL IUCNNL IUCNNL Palm oil plantations in peatland ecosystems cause irreversible damage and increase flooding and CO2 emissions #agrocom 31-10-14 10:26