Safeguard and restore wetlands to support people and nature through the pandemic and beyond

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Healthy wetlands are vital lifelines for  people struggling to survive through the pandemic – by supporting  local communities with training and advice we are helping them to secure safe water supplies, grow and harvest wetland-based crops and create new livelihoods.“

The Covid-19 pandemic is present in every country where Wetlands International works. Illhealth and the restrictions necessary to control the spread of the virus to vulnerable groups are impacting our work. Across our 20 offices, we have needed to dramatically adapt the way in which we work. We face a challenging situation to continue to engage with partners and to continue our project activities.   

Despite the tight controls, our teams have used their creativity, connections, technology and partnerships to help some of the most vulnerable people to live safely, with clean water supplies and locally grown food. Crucially, we have helped communities take up livelihood opportunities compatible with wetlands conservation and restoration. We are able to achieve this because of our existing bonds with those communities and through combining our efforts with local government and civil society partners, including humanitarian organisations.  

In this special appeal, we share experiences of living through the pandemic and illustrate how crucial it is to protect and restore wetlands for human health and well-being. The ongoing wetland restoration activities we support, are bringing many other benefits like reducing GHG emissions, enhancing biodiversity and quality of life in cities.  

As the world emerges from this pandemic, we must take the opportunity to accelerate economic and social recovery through scaling up nature-based solutions as the backbone of green recovery. Getting this right is critical for communities, wetlands and the key services they provide.  

With our knowledge, experience, local presence and partners, Wetlands International plays an important role in this process. We call on you to support us so that we can continue our work to safeguard and restore wetlands together with local communities and local authorities. I In doing so we help to build the resilience of people and nature for long-lasting effect, beyond the current crisis. 

Jane Madgwick, Chief Executive Officer