NGO Wetlands International has called for the International Organization Partners to the Convention on Wetlands to urge the Contracting Parties to the Convention to consider a more ambitious global biodiversity framework and to adopt priority measures to curb freshwater biodiversity loss.
On International Wetlands Day (2 February), the NGO called for conservation plans to go beyond protected areas and called for greater investment to stimulate species recovery and re-introduction. The group acknowledged existing efforts while saying that better integration of conservation and operational plans would eventually lead to greater progress.
Wetlands International cited the 2020 review process for several global conventions and indicted that this is an important year to review progress and set new recommendations for future policy guidelines.
Over 40 percent of all species live or breed in wetlands that are also life support systems for over 1 billion people. Development of climate action plans also requires development of a plan to reverse the decline of natural wetlands.
Wetlands International suggested some constructive priority efforts to include:
- Accelerating implementation of environmental flows in the Inner Niger Delta in Mali.
- Improving water quality through implementing comprehensive decision making processes such as the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Directive
- Protecting and restoring critical habitats by using Building with Nature concepts proven in Indonesia and Guinea-Bissau.
- Safeguarding and restoring river connectivity by working at basin level such as in the Paraná-Paraguay wetland system.
In a new book, Wetlands International CEO, Jane Madgwick explores the effect of rapid urbanization and expansion of agriculture on the world’s biodiversity from 1900-2000. The rapid loss of bogs, swamps, mangroves, natural river banks, lakes deltas, oases, lagoons, mudflat and floodplains present the root of myriad social and environmental issues throughout the world.
The book, “Water Lands: A Vision for the World’s Wetlands and their People” presents a new narrative that rethinks the relationship to, perception and use of wetlands and champions the already existing natural solutions and community approaches that can change our fate.