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Ramsar Convention needs to improve resolutions


Wetlands International advocates chances for the proposed resolutions of this week’s Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Many proposed changes demand attention for the link between wetland loss and  climate change and for biofuels.

This week,  The intergovernmental Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has its 10th COP in Korea. Many of the draft Resolutions deal with the important issues of these times: climate change, avian influenza and waterbirds, biofuel production. The content of the Resolutions needs though improvement according to Wetlands International. See the recommendations to the Contracting Parties.

The convention should take a strong stand on the protection of peatlands to stop their immense carbon dioxide emissions. Globally, the loss of these wetlands accounts to 10 to 15% of all carbon dioxide emissions. Still there is no global policy to reduce or even account these emissions. A strong signal from the Contracting parties of the Ramsar Convention to the UN Climate Convention is vital.

Other related issues are the recognition of coastal and mountain wetlands and wetlands in arid regions as vital ecosystems for people and nature to adapt to climate change. Managing these wetlands in a sustainable way reduces the negative impacts of extreme precipitation, droughts or coastal storms. These wetland values are still not widely recognised. A strong signal from the Ramsar Convention towards development authorities about this value is very important.

A third crucial subject are the negative impacts of  parts of the biofuel production sector on wetlands. Wetlands International calls for exclusion for production of wetlands with a high conservation value and of peatlands.


Jane madgwick
CEO Wetlands International


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