Wetlands International welcomes recognition of water and water-related ecosystems in COP28 outcome
Transitioning away from fossil fuels is a first step towards a full phase-out. With that, protecting and restoring the natural world – including natural “carbon sinks” such as mangroves, peatlands and other wetlands – needs to be integral to climate plans and actions to accelerate the delivery of the Paris Agreement.
Wetlands International welcomes the outcome of the first global stocktake. It recognises the critical role of protecting, conserving and restoring water and water-related ecosystems in delivering climate adaptation benefits and co-benefits while ensuring social and environmental safeguards.
It is a step forward towards reducing climate impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity and accelerating the use of ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions, including restoration and conservation of inland water and coastal ecosystems.
We are encouraged to see commitments made to the Mangrove Breakthrough during COP28 to secure the future of 15 million hectares of mangroves by 2030, by unlocking USD 4 billion and through collective action to halt loss, restore half, double protection, and ensure sustainable finance for mangroves globally.
It is also encouraging that nearly 40 countries have recognised the power of rivers, lakes and other inland wetlands as climate solutions by committing to the Freshwater Challenge – to restore 300,000 km of degraded rivers and 350 million hectares of degraded wetlands by 2030, and conserve intact freshwater ecosystems.
The opportunity now is to translate commitments into urgent action, starting by integrating ambitious targets on mangroves, peatlands and other wetlands in updated Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans, and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, as a priority.
Tackling the climate, nature and water crises together is more necessary and urgent than ever. Governments, businesses, funders and civil society must all work together to scale up the safeguarding and restoration of wetland ecosystems, as well as address the drivers that destroy wetlands.
Wetlands International brings the science, technical expertise and proven nature-based solutions to safeguard and restore wetlands at scale. We facilitate multiple stakeholder partnerships, influencing the agendas of governments, companies and financial institutions to prioritise wetlands at the global level and use our local track record and partner networks to support implementation on the ground.
Improving the protection, management and restoration of wetlands is critical to tackling the climate crisis and protecting our planet.