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Restoring the abundance of Senegal’s Ndiael Special Reserve for people and nature

The Ndiael Reserve in Senegal is an oasis of desert wetlands that is internationally recognised for its outstanding nature. Like the birds and the fish here, human living patterns of fishing and subsistence agriculture have been a part of these wetlands for generations. To address the growing competition for land and water that is threatening this important ecosystem, we are bringing back water to the wetlands.

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Ensuring sustainable peatlands & mangroves in Indonesia

To counter the destruction of mangroves and unsustainable oil palm expansion in Indonesia’s peatlands, we work with the government to improve policies and spatial planning. We also engage with the palm oil industry to promote best management practices in peatlands and ensure the participation of local communities. At the field level, we work with local partners and communities to restore peatlands and mangroves, and improve the livelihoodsof people through Bio-rights micro-credit financing that promotes conservation.

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Empowering people through nature in Kenya’s Tana Delta

The Tana River Delta in Kenya is one of the largest and most significant coastal delta ecosystems in Eastern Africa. In order to protect the outstanding diversity of nature here in the face of a changing climate and economy, we work towards the sustainable management of wetlands and water resources while promoting more sustainable livelihoods for the local pastoral, agricultural and fisherfolk communities.

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UN Climate Summit in Warsaw (11-22 November 2013)

The 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) is expected to make significant progress towards a new global climate agreement, aimed at increasing mitigation ambition before 2020 and putting in place a new global climate regime from 2020 onwards.

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UNFCCC Climate Talks in Bonn (June 2013)

Between the 3rd and the 14th of June, a new round of UNFCCC negotiations took place in Bonn, Germany. Wetlands International attended the session to advocate the importance of conserving and rehabilitating wetlands for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
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Promoting climate-proof disaster risk reduction in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is extremely vulnerable to the disasters fueled by climate change and whose impacts are worsened by environmental degradation, such as deforestation. The Partners for Resilience work to reduce this vulnerability and to strengthen the resilience capacity of the communities to deal with the impacts of disasters. Additionally, we promote policy dialogue and increase the understanding of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and restoration and management of natural resources.

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Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction


The Fourth Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction took place in Geneva, Switzerland from the 19th to the 23rd of May 2013. Under the headline “Resilient People – Resilient Planet”, delegates discussed progress to date and future needs for disaster risk reduction efforts. Wetlands International highlighted the role of ecosystems in mitigating the impact of natural hazards and extreme weather events.

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Climate-proof disaster risk reduction for Indigenous communities in Guatemala

The Partners for Resilience work to reduce the risks of droughts and landslides in vulnerable communities in 5 departments in Guatemala. In addition to securing the communities´ livelihoods, improve their natural resources management and protect them from natural disasters, we also build their capacity to influence decisions that affect them, and involve them in platforms to exchange experiences. Furthermore, by working with different levels of government, we connect national policies with local experiences and influence municipal budget allocation.

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European River Restoration Conference

The 5th European River Restoration Conference was from 11-13 September 2013 in Vienna, Austria. Wetlands International and our partners in European river restoration showcased inspiring examples of river restoration and brought together key policy makers and restoration practitioners to share and learn about the successes, challenges and opportunities for river restoration in Europe.

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Sustainable development and land planning in the Parana Delta

The Parana Delta wetlands in Argentina are under pressure from the extraction of natural resources, infrastructure development, large-scale livestock farming and agriculture. This is threatening the wetlands ecosystem and traditional livelihoods that rely on island cattle-raising, bee-keeping and artisanal fishing. To overcome these challenges, we are working with strategic partners to develop sustainable solutions that rely on a scientific knowledge base and best management practices.

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Bio-rights for Disaster Risk Reduction of K'iche' communities in Sololá, Guatemala

With our partner CARE we have started a Bio-rights initiative in Sololá, Guatemala to reduce the vulnerability to landslides, mudslides and heavy weather of four K’iche’ communities. Each rainy season they suffer these landslides and mudslides, which are caused by deforestation, as forest has been cleared for maxán leafs, pacaina and coffee monocultures.  

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A Biodiversity Action Plan for the footprint of Shell in Brunei

The rarely visited country of Brunei Darussalam is a green gem on the rapidly deforesting island of Borneo. Much of Brunei is still covered in peat swamp or mangrove forest, which is in stark contrast to the situation in other countries within the region. These forests are rich with species of plants and animals, but face threats due to development, peat drainage and fires.

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Conserving and restoring wetlands in the Niger Delta

The Niger Delta in Nigeria is the largest wetland in Africa and the third largest mangrove forest in the world. The region is known for its richness in biodiversity as well as its oil and gas resources. Wetland ecosystems play a critical role in supporting the livelihoods of millions of people in the delta. At the same time they are being degraded by unsustainable practices and a legacy of pollution and oil spills. In the delta we are bringing new perspectives to the fields of biodiversity conversation and sustainable development, putting the conservation and restoration of wetlands at the centre of achieving both livelihood and biodiversity improvements.

While this work happens under our partnership with Shell, we are not directly involved in the cleanup of oil pollution, but include the oil industry as an important stakeholder for our new ways of planning development, and improving the condition of wetlands and water resources to benefit both biodiversity and human well-being.

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Building Community Resilience to Natural Disasters in Kenya

Downstream communities in the Ewaso Nyiro River of north eastern Kenya are extremely vulnerable to droughts and floods. We are working to help communities reduce their vulnerability and improve their livelihoods through an innovative approach combining sustainable ecosystem management, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

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Reducing disaster risk by restoring wetlands in the Inner Niger Delta of Mali

The 1.4 million people who depend on the Inner Niger Delta in Mali suffer increasingly from low water levels in the Niger River, which flows downstream into the delta. We are working to address the growing upstream water diversions for irrigation and hydropower, and help downstream communities adapt to sustain their livelihoods.

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From the Arctic to Africa: Protecting Waterbirds and Wetlands

Along the migratory flyway between the Northwest Russian Arctic and West Africa, we are protecting wetlands and waterbirds by developingregional long-term wetland conservation and wise-use strategies. Our goal is to bring together people in the countries across the flyway in Africa, the EU and Russia through networking tools for wetland managers and the development of local conservation action and monitoring.

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Building resilience to disasters in the Mahanadi delta and Kosi-Gandak floodplains, India

In the Mahanadi River delta and Kosi-Gandak floodplains we restore wetlands and improve water management to reduce the risk of disasters. With our partners we enhance the ability of vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change and create more secure and sustainable livelihoods. This provides a safer environment from floods and improves the capacity of these communities to bounce back if they do occur.

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UN Climate Summit in Doha (26 Nov – 7 Dec 2012)

Read up on our work at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference held in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. You can download the Side Event presentations, flyers and programmes. 

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Reducing the risk of floods and landslides in the Philippines

Population pressures and the over- and misuse of natural resources has resulted in widespread ecosystem degradation and led to the increased risk of (elongated) floods and landslides. In four sites in the Philippines, both urban and rural, we are working to reduce the risk of these water-related disasters.

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Strengthening Coastal Resilience for Communities in Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia

We work to reduce the impacts of frequent disasters on vulnerable communities in Nusa Tenggara Timur, utilising innovate approaches to improve water management, sustainable livelihoods, ecosystem restoration, disaster risk reduction and the adaptive capacity of local communities. Through our Bio-rights microcredit scheme we improve the livelihoods of communities that restore their ecosystems by, for example, the planting of mangroves and other productive trees.

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Waterbird Population Estimates Database

The Waterbird Population Estimates (WPE) online database provides current and historic estimates, trends and 1% thresholds for over 800 waterbird species and 2300 biogeographic populations worldwide. This project has been developed by Wetlands International with the support of Environment Canada and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Visit the Waterbird Population Estimates Database

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Global initiative on peatlands and climate change mitigation

Peatlands store vast amounts of carbon and are therefore critical ecosystems for climate regulation. However, when drained and degraded, peat soils release enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

In order to address the rapid destruction of this key ecosystem, Wetlands International and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have launched the global “Organic soils and peatlands climate change mitigation initiative” in May 2012. The Initiative is an informal network of organisations and people committed to reducing emissions from peatlands and safeguarding the other vital ecosystem services peatlands provide.

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Ramsar Conference, Bucharest

The Ramsar Conference (6 - 13 July 2012 in Bucharest, Romania) offered an opportunity to strengthen and extend the reach of the Convention to achieve improved wetland conservation and management. We attended the conference with a team of experts from our global network and engaged Contracting Parties and partners to achieve these objectives. 

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Mangrove restoration

Wetlands International aims to reverse the rapid loss of mangrove forests along working towards the achievement of sustainable uses of mangroves. On this page you can find an overview of the current and past mangrove restoration activities of Wetlands International in different parts of the world, which provides you with our best practices and lessons learned.

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Conserving and restoring the marshes of Southern Iraq

The giant Majnoon Oil Field in Southern Iraq overlaps with the country’s most important wetland area: the Mesopotamian Marshlands. These wetlands were severely damaged by past drainage and warfare. Water availability continues to be a constraint for both for marshland restoration and the oil industry in this dry country. Under our collaborative partnership, we are assisting Shell to minimise the negative impacts of oil and gas development on the biodiversity of the marshes and the ecosystem services they provide. This is an opportunity to restore these iconic wetlands and the livelihoods they support.

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World Water Forum 6

The 6th World Water Forum runs from 12 - 17 March in Marseille, France. This meeting brings organisations in the water sector together every three years and aims to identify, understand and seek solutions to some of the most urgent water issues, from the local to the global scale. Our aim is to get the importance of wetlands for water provision higher on the agenda’s of decision makers. We are also raising awareness of key water issues such as integrating wetlands into river basin management, the future of the Niger River in Mali, and the emerging issue of watergrabbing.

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Building with Nature

Wetlands International is committed to reducing the knowledge gaps on mangrove functions and values. Our aim is to maximise the utilisation of ecosystem-based solutions for coastal defense.

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Restoring peatlands in Russia

Many peatlands in Russia were drained for agriculture, forestry and peat mining in the past and then left abandoned. Now they are subject to wind and water erosion, major fires and cause large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions. Given the significant economic, environmental and social impacts of these degraded peatlands, Wetlands International has recently initiated the restoration project of Russia's degraded peatlands.

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International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean “From Grado to Agadir: The next 20 years”

International Symposium, Agadir, Morocco, 6-8 February 2012

 
The Ramsar Convention and its MedWet Initiative, the High Commissariat for Water, Forests and Desertification Control of Morocco announce the organisation on an international symposium on water and wetlands in the Mediterranean basin, which will be held on 6-8 February 2012 in the city of Agadir, Morocco. BirdLife International, the IUCN, the Tour du Valat Research Centre, Wetlands International and WWF International are key partners in the organisation of the event. Main sponsors of the Symposium are the MAVA Foundation and the Ministry of Environment of Italy.
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RESTORE - Restoring Europe's Rivers

Wetlands International encourages the restoration of European rivers towards a more natural state to deliver increased environmental quality, flood risk reduction, and social and economic benefits.

In the partnership RESTORE we share knowledge to policymakers, river basin organisation and practitioners and promote best practice on river restoration in Europe.

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Reducing the impacts of oil sands mining

Canada's oil sands (also called tar sands) are one of the largest oil deposits on earth. Mining destroys the peat marshes covering these deposits, and alters the water flows within a much wider area. Oil sands oil is controversial due to these impacts and the fact that higher greenhouse gas emissions are produced from this form of extraction than from conventional sources of oil. Wetlands International is exploring activities with Shell to limit impacts and enable restoration once mining has ended. 

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Arctic wetlands: reducing the impact of the oil and gas sector

Wetlands are the dominant ecosystem in the onshore Arctic and provide valuable services to biodiversity and communities, both local and well beyond. Wetlands in the Arctic region are fragile and recovery from disturbance is slow. The impact of a new road in the permafrost marshes may impact a much wider area for decades to come. What's more: Arctic wetlands are not well defined or understood. Wetlands International works with partners such as Shell to better understand the functions and sensitivities of Arctic wetlands, in order to improve decision-making to minimise the impacts of the oil and gas sector on onshore and coastal wetlands.

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Sustainable shrimp production

Wetlands International works with businesses and the Government of Indonesia to introduce certification of sustainable shrimp farms. This work with the private sector supports the 'silvofishery concept' that combines the replanting of mangroves near and inside shrimp and fish ponds. This is a sustainable alternative for the rigid clearing of coastal mangrove forests for aquaculture.

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Saving water for the Mujib Reserve, Jordan

Together with the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (RSCN) we worked in Jordan to reduce the impact of the dam upstream on the Mujib reserve, involve the local population in agricultural activities to save water and preserve water quality, and make sure that the Mujib reserve water needs are fulfilled in water management plans and decisions of the government.

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Peatlands in UN Climate policies

Since 2005 we have stressed the importance of preventing further carbon emissions from peat soils at the UN Climate Conference (UNFCCC). We aim to include carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the degradation and loss of peatlands in a new climate treaty that is currently under negotiation.

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The Critical Site Network Tool

 The Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool is an award winning online resource that provides information on 294 waterbird species and the important wetlands upon which they depend in Africa and Western Eurasia. This tool provides users with direct access to both International Waterbird Census and Important Bird Area counts, as well as a range of analytical and explorative tools.  

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The UN Biological Diversity Summit 2010 (Nagoya, Japan)

Wetlands International was present at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan. Via presentations, publications and advocacy, we pushed for an ambitious strategic plan, in which countries committed themselves to actions for the coming decade. Although our ambitions on some issues were higher than the outcomes, we are content with the consensus reached between all countries (see www.cbd.int/nagoya/outcomes).

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Water for all in the Ichkeul Basin, Tunisia

By setting up a dialogue between the different demanders of water, we built a consensus that assured the access to water of all (farmers, dams, etc.) as well as preserves the wetlands and biodiversity of the Ichkeul Basin in Tunisia on the long term. This work was done with our local partner INAT, the Institut National Agronomique.

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Improving the water quality of the Sebou River, Morocco

The Sebou River in Morocco suffers from serious pollution problems. To successfully push for control of urban pollution, we developed a monitoring & evaluation system for surface water quality.

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Towards mangrove conservation in Guinea Bissau

Wetlands International worked in West African Guinea Bissau to restore traditional rice field (or bolanha) in mangrove areas. We enabled the building of dikes and channels to restore the hydrology for rice farming. This contributes strongly to mangrove conservation, as no new mangrove areas need to be cleared for conversion into rice fields.

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Sustainable agriculture in the Dambos of Malawi

In Simlemba, Malawi we worked on tackling the issue of overexploitation of the seasonal wetlands (dambos) by agriculture. We helped farmer communities to improve farming in the dambos, manage water resources well and organised the conservation of forests higher up in the hills. 

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Managing water with communities in the Mahanadi Delta, India

In the Mahandi Delta, Orissa, India, we word to reduce flood risks by managing and  restoring wetlands, as areas were excsessive water can be stored.

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Solving water conflicts on the foot of the Kilimanjaro, Kenya

From 2005 till 2010, Wetlands International worked with our partner the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in Kenya with the communities in the Kimana wetlands to improve water use. We helped to organise that the water needs of all, including three Masaai tribes, farmers and widlife for the National Parks, are balanced.

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Restoring the high mountain peatlands of Ruoergai, China

Drainage, Yak and sheep overgrazing, and erosion severely damage the high altitude peatlands of the Ruoergai, located on the Tibetan Plateau in China. Working with communities and the government we diminish the grazing pressure, block erosion gullies, re-seed grassland and much more. The goal is to give the marshes their important natural functions back and improve the inhabitants well-being.

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Restoring abandoned shrimp ponds in Indonesia

Abandoned shrimp ponds in Java, Indonesia are a threat to local populations’ health and make the coastal areas vulnerable to strong winds, tidal floods, salt water intrusion and abrasion. In Banten Bay and Pemalang we show how practical fighting poverty and improving family income can go hand in hand with restoring degraded wetlands, such as these abandoned shrimp ponds. Our approach has strongly improved the food security and health of the communities we worked with.

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Saving and restoring peat swamp areas

With years of scientific research and extensive demonstration projects, carried out in Argentina to Siberia and Southeast Asia, we have built up an extensive expertise in peatland restoration. We now use our knowledge to promote and implement large-scale projects to save and rehabilitate peatlands.

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For a healthy Inner Niger Delta, Mali

The Inner Niger Delta is a lifeline for one and a half million people, whose flooding provide fish, fodder for their cattle and water for rice production. This inland delta is also home to millions of waterbirds, that migrate to this rich environment, as well as hippos and many other species. We work with communities and Malinese government to restore the flood forest, reduce the people's poverty and prevent the negative impacts of dams and climate change on the delta. 

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Ecological Mangrove Restoration in Thailand

Wetlands International promotes Ecological Mangrove Restoration; an innovative technique of restoring degraded mangrove forests by only restoring the hydrology to its natural state. Compared to seedling planting projects, this approach is significantly cheaper and creates a mangrove forest with more different species of mangroves and other flora and fauna. Krabi Estuary, a Ramsar Site of International Importance, located in Southwest of Thailand, was selected to demonstrate the approach. 

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Saving West Africa's mangroves: regional policy & local practices

In the six countries of Mauritania, Cabo Verde, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Chonakry and Sierra Leone we worked with governments and local communities on two strategies: 1. Bind all governments to conservation policies and action, and 2. Introduce sustainable production techniques that diminish the cutting of mangroves.

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Neotropical Waterbird Census

The Neotropical Waterbird Census (NWC) programme is a counting scheme for monitoring waterbird numbers at wetland sites throughout South America. It is accomplished primarily through the participation of volunteers, which in each country are guided by a National Coordinator.

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