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Soy Cultivation in South America

Soy cultivation has shown an increasing expansion throughout Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, in the last decade. This remarkable increase is explained by its economical importance in the region, and as a consequence, it is difficult to regulate its progress and attenuate its potential socio-environmental impacts. Read more about our work on soy and wetlands.

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The challenge of restoring rivers

This video was produced by Wetlands International - European Association and the Iberian Centre for River Restoration (CIREF) to illustrate the need for river restoration, the benefits it brings and the necessary factors for its success.

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The whole Pantanal, not just the half

The Pantanal, in the heart of South America, on the border of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, is the largest freshwater wetland in the world. It has an enormous biodiversity and the people who live there mainly live from fishing and tourism. The Pantanal has a water regulating function for an enormous area to the La Plata in Argentina, some 1,500 kilometers away. 'The whole Pantanal, not just the half', supported by Both ENDS, IUCN and Wetlands International reviews the current developments with regard to soy production in the region to create an informed debate. The ultimate goal is to achieve agreements and commitments to stop buying soy from the Pantanal, as already exist on soy from other areas, such as that around the Amazon.

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Gérer la richesse des zones humides du Mali pour les populations et la nature

Wetlands International existe au Mali depuis 1998, année au cours de laquelle elle a commencé un partenariat avec le Gouvernement du Mali afin d’aider à mieux gérer les ressources en eau du pays tant pour ses populations que sa nature. Ces premiers efforts visaient à explorer l’état des habitats naturels uniques du Mali, en particulier ses terres humides importantes au plan international, le Delta intérieur du Niger, et à partager largement ces conclusions et données.

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FISH PASSES: fish ladders and other pass systems

Since the middle of the 20th century, humans have significantly altered the hydrological and hydraulic system of European rivers, with (hydropower) dams, dredging, rectifications, channelling, etc. One of the most damaging effects of these activities results from constructing crossing works over rivers (dams, waterwheels, bridge foundations, etc), which frequently impede or limit the free movement of fish fauna.

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ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND RIVER RESTORATION

Understanding the economic and social value of ecosystem services in a river system can help prioritise river restoration projects. Currently, public administrations rarely consider river restoration projects as investments. Funding for restoring natural capital is substantially lower than the funding available to build and maintain built infrastructure. By reframing river restoration projects as restoration of natural capital it is possible to attract the financial resources needed to restore river systems and better integrate environmental and social values.

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HOW CAN A RIVER BE HYDROLOGICALLY RESTORED?

This technical note on river restoration discusses how hydrological restoration should be incorporated in river restoration, and which are the most adequate strategies to design and implement the restored (functional) flows in rivers. Restoration of a river's flow regime should be the first step in any attempt to recover its ecological integrity, as the flow pattern determines, more than any other physical or environmental feature, the structure and spatial-temporal functioning of the river system.

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WHAT IS RIVER RESTORATION?

This technical note explores the concept of river restoration, addressing it as a process to re-establish or recover a natural system through the elimination of the impacts that degrade it throughout a prolonged period of time, until a natural and self-sustaining functioning is achieved. The process of restoration must attain naturalness, functionality, dynamism, complexity, diversity and resilience of the natural system. Real restoration is, therefore, self-restoration.

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CHANNEL GRADIENT: Calculation process using GIS

This technical note on river restoration adresses the calculation of river channel gradients using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The channel gradient is a fundamental parameter in the geomorphologic characterisation of river systems; it is a reflection of the changes in the longitudinal sequence of a river through the presence of waterfalls, step pools (fasts and pools), riffle pools (rapids and pools), etc., which makes it a discriminating factor of environmental dynamics of differentiated processes.

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RIVER SINUOSITY INDEX: Geomorphological characterisation

This technoical notes on river restoration explores the concept of sinuosity. Sinuosity is used to define the degree of meandering of a riverbed, which is then used to establish geomorphological river types.

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