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Green economy with sustainable value chains

CHALLENGE: Agricultural output is expected to double and resource efficiency increase tenfold in the coming decades. Only a rapid transformation in the way products and services are produced and consumed will ensure the continued delivery of essential ecosystem services provided by a healthy environment while meeting the demands of the world’s growing population. Local communities must have a voice in this transition.

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Call for Action on Agro Commodity Governance

Over the last decade, various commitments towards sustainability of agro-commodity value chains have been made by governments and private sector. Relevant in this context is the recent zero deforestation pledges included in the New York declaration on Forests. Despite important progress, translating these commitments into effective implementation remains a challenge.

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Soy entering valuable wetlands of Argentina

Due to the enormous emphasis on soybean cultivation within Argentina, activities such as cattle raising but also the cultivation of soybeans are increasingly pushed to more marginal and vulnerable areas, where the cost of land is lower.

The Paraná Delta, one of the most unique and important wetlands regions in the world, is one of these places. Although the region is not suitable for these activities, new actors are radically altering the landscape to make the undertaking of these activities possible. Read more about our work on soy and wetlands.

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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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Wetlands International's inputs to the ENVI Committee’s draft 2nd reading report on ILUC

Wetlands International welcomes the transition towards the sustainable production and consumption of bioenergy which delivers substantial greenhouse gas (GHG) savings compared to fossil fuels. As an organisation with valuable experience in wetland conservation, restoration and the sustainable use of their resources for people, climate and nature worldwide, we suggest a set of recommendations for inclusion in the European Parliament’s position on the second reading of the Indirect Land-Use Changes (ILUC) file (procedure file 2012/0288(COD)).

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Joint NGO letter on the environment, climate and social impacts of biofuels

This joint NGO letter was sent to the Members of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament to urge them to raise the environmental, climate and social ambition of the Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) file. The land-use changes  triggered by the expansion of biofuel crops are linked to greenhouse gas emissions (including significant  peatland emissions) and other negative impacts on people and the environment.

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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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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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