Organisations and partners celebrate World Wetlands Day
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This is a selection of statements and articles issued by organisations, conventions and partners on World Wetlands Day 2014.
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Convention on Biological Diversity, Statement by Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary
"On this day I am pleased to recognise the important role of the Ramsar Convention and the FAO as the lead implementing partners for the CBD for wetlands and agriculture respectively. Partnerships between wetlands and agriculture, supported by partnerships between all relevant stakeholders involved in both, will be a significant contribution to a better and more sustainable world for us all." Read more
International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Press release, publication and infographic
“Outright protection of wetlands is incompatible with farming and would threaten the livelihoods of millions of people, and we’ve seen these approaches fail in the past,” said Matthew McCartney, a hydrologist at IWMI, and a contributor to the book Wetlands and people. “But there are agricultural practices that can support and sustain healthy wetlands, and vice versa. Working with local communities will help us find the best solutions.”
Read the press release; Read the "Water and wetlands" publication; View the infographic
CGIAR, Blog post by Matthew McCartney
"In recent years, the need for local communities to benefit from conservation measures has become widespread: there is now a recognition that protection of the natural environment should not be at the expense of local peoples’ wellbeing. Conversely there is also a wider recognition that development activities, including agriculture, must be underpinned by the preservation of vital ecosystem services. However, in any given situation how to strike the right balance between the different uses of a wetland and the variety of benefits it provides, is not easy. There needs to be an assessment of trade-offs: evaluating what is gained and what is lost if a wetland is managed and used in a particular way." Read more
International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Article by Orlando Sosa, Implementation Review and Support Officer
"This year’s theme, Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth, is particularly relevant for the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and its contracting parties. Pests such as invasive plants can devastate wetlands. A 2012 IPPC study on risks of aquatic plants illustrates cases of invasive aquatic plants disrupting agricultural production by clogging irrigation canals, clinging to rice seedlings, clogging dams and impeding lake navigation." Read more
The International Union for Conservation of Nature, Wetlands International, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, FishBase, the Fisheries Society of the British Isles and the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network,
Launch of the "Global Freshwater Fish BioBlitz", Inviting 'Citizen Scientists' to Help Monitor Fish Species
"The Global Freshwater Fish BioBlitz kicks off on World Wetlands Day to engage nature lovers in freshwater fish conservation. People from around the world, whether they are anglers, photographers, students or nature lovers, are invited to upload photographs of freshwater fishes observed in their natural habitat, with details of where and when they saw the fish. Volunteers with expertise in fish taxonomy will serve as curators to identify and verify the species to ensure the data is research-grade. The information has the potential to assist scientists to describe new species, help assess the risk of extinction for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, can track the spread of invasive species and can be exported to freely accessible online data archives, such as Encyclopedia of Life." Read more
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Message by Mr. David Sheppard, Director-General
"If Pacific island communities are to be resilient to environmental change and able to sustain their livelihoods then we must recognise and protect the functions and economic values of wetlands in our planning for the production of food and other agricultural products." Read more
Livelihoods Project (Danone), Infographic
Infographic showing results of the Livelihoods projects with NGO partners in Senegal, India and Indonesia. View the infographic
"The Ramsar Convention has become one of the most important global mechanisms for BirdLife Partners in their national work with many Partners having contributed to the designation of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas as Wetlands of International Importance in their countries." Read more
WWF, "World Wetlands Day: WWF celebrates Danube restoration projects"
"More than 80% of the Danube's wetlands have been lost for the last 150 years. And with them the rich diversity of fish and other species on which they depend. The Danube has been much abused. Dikes, dams and dredging have straightened large sections of the river." Read more
"Research of UNESCO-IHE continues to address key questions about sustainable wetland use. The last year saw the conclusion of the ECOLIVE project that researched the sustainable use of wetlands for livelihood support, and the start of a follow-up project investigating the integrated use of wetlands for agriculture and ecological integrity." Read more
UNDP, The GEF, "Revitalizing Ramsar Wetlands in the Naghadeh plain near Lake Urmia "
Lake Urmia, one of the world's largest hypersaline lakes, has been suffering from shrinkage for decades but when its satellite wetlands in the south showed signs of severe degradation, a group of ex-hunters and teachers sounded the alarm bell. Being ex-hunters, they knew about the ecological values of the Ramsar sites and were very familiar with the area and all its natural characteristics during the four seasons. Lake Urmia, one of the world's largest hypersaline lakes, has been suffering from shrinkage for decades but when its satellite wetlands in the south showed signs of severe degradation, a group of ex-hunters and teachers sounded the alarm bell. Read more
ARCOS, Abertine Rift Conservation Society, "ARCOS calls for better harmony between wetlands’ functions and services and economic development in the Great Lakes Region"
We call for all governments and various stakeholders in Great Lakes transboundary freshwater ecosystems to work for the realization of this principle by adopting uniformly the new technologies that reduce the quantity of water withdrawn for irrigation, conducting together a thorough integrated water resources planning and aiming to minimize the impact on water quality through integrated pesticides management and organic farming whenever possible. Read more
Ducks Unlimited, "Conservation, ag groups join to recognize wetlands"
"World Wetlands Day, a day to celebrate and share the importance of wetlands world-wide, has chosen a theme close to the hearts of waterfowl hunters and rice growers. Ducks Unlimited and USA Rice Federation remind us that "Wetlands and agriculture" are indeed natural partners." Read more
UNEP Africa-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (UNEP-AEWA)
"EUROPARC is joining forces and strongly promoting RAMSAR’s initiative on the World Wetlands Day 2014. We would like to see our EUROPARC members support the importance of wetlands and especially the importance of agriculture for our Protected Areas… " Read more