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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Wetlands and Biofuels

Biofuels are liquid transportation fuels produced from crops as alternatives to petroleum-based gasoline and diesel. Biofuels demand and production is exploding globally, driven by government directives and the ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Green Coast - the Tsunami Response

Through Green Coast we restored thousands of hectares of coast that were damaged by the Tsunami. Green Coast adopted a unique approach: restoration & management of coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, sand dunes and coral reefs through a community-led approach. This improved the biodiversity and economic well-being of hundreds of coastal communities in five countries: India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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Asia-Pacific Working Group on Migratory Birds and Avian Influenza

Improving our understanding of the role of wild birds in avian influenza, particularly highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 has been a priority for Wetlands International. To support regional cooperation, the Asia-Pacific Working Group on Migratory Birds and Avian Influenza beings together representatives from government agencies in the Asia-Pacific region, international NGOs, convention secretariats and international organisations and independent experts. It serves as a Working Group of the East Asian - Australasian Flyway Partnership and is jointly convened by Wetlands International and FAO.

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Migratory Birds for People programme

The Migratory Birds for People programme consists of more than 16 partner wetland visitor centres across Europe and West Africa, forming a network that follows the flight path of many migratory wetland birds species. These centres are working together to share best practice and develop new approaches to delivering waterbird and wetland messages to their visitors. The lead group consists of the Dutch Staatsbosbeheer, Wetland Link International, and Wetlands International. For more information visit the programme website.

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Bringing wetland information into decision making of the oil & gas sector

Activities by the oil and gas sector can often threaten wetlands, such as in the Arctic or oil sands of Alberta, Canada. Shell and Wetlands International have developed a software tool called WPIAT (the Wetlands Pre-Impact Assessment Tool), which can help improve the understanding of how development affects wetlands, including its impact on biodiversity and people who depend on wetlands for food and work.

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UNFCCC Climate Meeting in Durban (28 Nov - 12 Dec 2011)

Wetlands International participated at the 2011 climate summit in Durban, South Africa. The overall steps taken by the 194 governments are dangerously minimal. Regarding wetlands, we are content that wetland-carbon is finally recognised in different decisions. This may have a great impact for saving carbon rich wetlands (see final press release).

 

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Improving biofuels policy in Europe

With some clear successes, Wetlands International has been strongly involved in the EU Renewable Energy Directive. We are currently working closely with other NGOs to guide the implementation policies and limit the adverse land use impacts of biofuels demand.

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UNFCCC Adaptation Fund Board

The Adaptation Fund was created to finance climate change-related adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol and vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. We advocate solutions that help ensure environmental safeguards are built into the Adaptation Fund so that all projects and programme the Board finances fulfil strong envrionmental criteria.

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UNFCCC Climate Talks in Bonn (June 2011)

New sessions were held in Bonn, Germany on June 6-17 at the UNFCCC Climate Talks series, continuing the work from the agreements made in Cancun, Mexico in 2010. Through our active participation at the meeting and two side events, we promoted the conservation and restoration of tropical and temperate peatlands for the critical role they play in regulating the climate.  Furthermore, at the subsequent Adaptation Fund Board meeting on June 19, the importance of Strategic Impact Assessments in board funded projects was highlighted.

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Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction & World Reconstruction Conference

At the Third Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (Geneva, May 8-13) and its  World Reconstruction Conference (WRC, May 10-13) Wetlands International highlighted the role of ecosystems like wetlands to reduce the impact of extreme weather events such as extreme rainfall or extreme droughts. 

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UNFCCC Climate Talks, Bonn (Aug 2010)

Wetlands International participated at the UNFCCC Bonn Climate Talks with a stand and side event. The talks were the thirteenth session of the AWG-KP and the eleventh session of the AWG-LCA, which took place from Monday 2 August to Friday, 6 August 2010 at the Hotel Maritim in Bonn.
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UNFCCC Climate Summit in Cancún (29 Nov.-10 Dec. 2010)

We advocated for solutions that will help to halt the loss of wetlands at the UN Climate conference in Cancún, Mexico (29 November – 11 December 2010) where Parties gathered to achieve next steps on the road to a new climate deal. We campaigned not only to ensure that peatland emissions will be addressed, but also to make sure that projects financed by the Adaptation Fund do not harm wetlands.

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World Water Week (September 5-11, 2010)

Raising the significant role of wetlands in maintaining fresh water flows for biodiversity and for people.

This year's World Water Week took place from 5-11 September in Stockholm. This year Wetlands International used the meeting to highlight the role that wetlands play in supporting people and biodiversity and the importance of water management to maintain these vital services (click to watch the presentation).

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2010 International Year of Biodiversity

The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. The Convention on Biodiversity took place in October in Japan.  Governments all over the world gathered to decide on targets and actions for 2020 to halt the alarming loss of biodiversity.

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UN Climate Talks in Barcelona (Nov. 2009)

Wetlands International was present at the UN Barcelona Climate Talks, held from 2 - 6 November 2009. A side event was held presenting the first ever peatland emission data per country.

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UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (UNFCCC COP15)

From 7-18 December 2009, the world leaders gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark trying to agree on a new climate deal that would come into force in 2012. Wetlands International was present with a team from different offices, aiming for strong incentives to protect and restore the world's wetlands. An adequate incorporation of wetlands into a post-2012 agreement would contribute to reducing emissions and increase the world's resilience to the impacts of climate change. 

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World Water Forum 5, Istanbul, 16-23 March 2009

33,058 participants took part in the 5th World Water Forum, from March 16th to 22nd 2009 in Istanbul, making it the world’s biggest ever water-related event. A team of Wetlands International participated in a number of sessions on some issues highly relevant on the political water agenda:

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Wetlands and Livelihoods Programme

This programme focused on the mainstreaming of sustainable wetland management principles and practice into the development of poverty reduction strategies through local and international partnerships in DAC1 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It did so by enhancing of existing and supporting development of new policies at local, national and international levels, with specific inclusion of the water and health sectors and by ensuring due attention to the need for equitable development.

 

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Poznan Climate Conference: Emissions from peatlands, a global issue

Wetlands International was present at the UN climate summit in Poznan (1-13 December 2008). Our organisation focuses on advocating the inclusion of emissions from degradation and loss of peatswamps in a new climate treaty.

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Follow the Bird

The Follow the Bird! project ran from 2008 to 2010 and demonstrated the vital importance of a network of good quality wetlands along migratory bird flyways and the link of these wetlands to the livelihoods of people.

The ambassadors of the project were birds equipped with satellite-transmitters. The migration routes of ten Purple Herons were followed on the Internet at Follow the Bird!

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Western Paleartic and West-Asian Waterbird Census

The Western Paleartic and West Asian Waterbird Cencus is the waterbird monitoring programme for Europe, West Asia and North Africa. A total of 20 to 25 million waterbirds are counted each season by thousands of volunteers, working through national organisations. Wetlands International produces International overview reports. See the publication section for this.

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BioScore - Biodiversity impact assessment using species sensitivity scores

The BioScore project aims to develop a tool for linking pressures from policy sectors to the (change in the) state of biodiversity as measured by the presence and abundance of individual species.

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New FluBird Project (NFB)

Wetlands International is the co-coordinator  to this project with Erasmus University and 10 other partners throughout Europe. The NFB project aims at setting a Network for Early Warning of Influenza viruses in migratory birds in Europe. Our role is to provide data and expertise on high risk bird species, coordinate surveillance in high risk sites and build capacity for monitoring waterbirds.

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Post Tsunami Restoration in Indonesia

The earthquake and tsunami catastrophe which hit Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam and Nias Province on December 26, 2004 caused extensive damage. The damage has not only been physical; the disaster has created a traumatic and impoverished society, and has altered the environment as well.

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Support for the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP)

This project manages a global website as a communications tool for specialists on the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
This project is being carried out at a global level.

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