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Wetlands International welcomes the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Agreement

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  • Wetland values, status and trends

Wetlands International welcomes the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Agreement adopted by 196 countries under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, committing the world to halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.  

Wetlands are disproportionately important for biodiversity, and we strongly welcome the inclusion of inland waters and coastal ecosystems in the targets for restoration and conservation of 30% of the planet by 2030. 

In Montreal, a diverse group of allies came together to secure this watershed moment for wetlands, including governments, civil society, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, businesses, youth, and representatives of global multilateral environmental agreements.  

Wetlands are home to 40% of the world’s biodiversity, and provide vital connectivity between land and sea, yet they are being lost faster than any other ecosystems. The adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework must now result in urgent action on wetland conservation and restoration at the national level, for the sake of people, biodiversity, and climate. 

The provisions in the Global Biodiversity Framework on tackling the drivers of biodiversity loss are critical too. Unless we tackle the root causes of wetland destruction – by transforming agriculture, ending harmful subsidies, and reorienting economic and financial systems towards nature positive – the goals of this historic biodiversity agreement will not be met. 

We also welcome the focus throughout COP15 on the crucial role of other global environmental agreements in terms of delivery, including the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 

The hard work starts now. As countries translate this landmark agreement into national plans and turn their attention to implementation, and as the global community prepares for the UN Water Summit, scaling up wetland restoration and conservation must take centre stage. 

More work will be needed to fully incorporate inland waters and coastal ecosystems into the GBF’s and national plans’ indicators and monitoring framework, to restore and safeguard these most threatened and least protected ecosystems and biodiversity on the planet.  Wetlands International and partners have calculated that by 2030 we need to globally restore 350 million hectares of inland water and coastal ecosystems, and 300,000 km of rivers.  

Wetlands International will work with governments, businesses, local communities, Indigenous Peoples and other partners to help deliver the GBF’s many wetland-related targets and to enable the design, financing and implementation of landscape and river-basin scale plans that bring back nature, enhance livelihoods, and ensure climate resilience.


Photograph credit: Jack Coble, Unsplash