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A role for the Wetland Convention in Wetland Restoration. Christopher Briggs Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. What are Wetlands ?. Wetlands cover over 1.5 billion hectares. almost the size of Russia. Wetland Services include:. Transport. Food. Fishing.

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A role for the Wetland Convention

  • in Wetland Restoration
  • Christopher Briggs
  • Secretary General of the
  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
wetland services include
Wetland Services include:






but also
... but also:

Wetlands provide all our water and clean our waters

They protect against natural disasters (tsunamis, hurricane etc) and reduce flood and drought impact

They play a key role in climate change adaptation and mitigation(eg blue carbon, peat for C storage)

wetlands are being lost and degraded
Wetlands are being lost and degraded

40% LOST IN 40 YRS

Drainage, dykes

Land conversion


Over abstraction


Climate change

wetland restoration
Wetland restoration

Can restore some wetlands with many ecosystem services recovered quickly. Other types have slow recovery with only partial functions restored

According to wetland type, restoration can take years (mudflats), hundreds of years (grey dunes) or millennia (blanket bogs).

Variable cost – from 90 EUR/km2 (mangroves) to over 100,000 EUR/km2 (coral reefs)

benefits reduce poverty
Benefits:reduce poverty

India, Sundarbans

Livelihoods project

Over 16 million mangroves planted

  • They will bring economic and nutritional value to local communities, protect from floods and store CO2

Viet Nam

  • 50,000 ha mangroves planted over 12 years
  • Cost: 1.1. million USD
  • 7.3 million USD saved per year
  • Benefits for 7,750 families
benefits mitigate effects of climate change
Benefits: mitigate effects of climate change

The Netherlands

250,000 people repeatedly evacuated for the risk of floods in early 1990s

Breaking the trend: instead of building higher dikes, leave “room for the river”

Outcomes: Increased safety for 4 million people and improved environmental quality of the region

benefits provide clean water
Benefits: provide clean water

South Africa, Manalana Wetlands

3.5 ha restored in 2006

Project benefits: 182,000 EUR (twice the costs)

Wetland now acts as safety net for poor households

Senegal, Lake Guiers

Provides 65% of Dakar’s drinking water

22 million EUR 5-year restoration project funded by ADF, GEF and government

benefits reduce emissions of co 2
Benefits: reduce emissions of CO2

Germany, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Restoration of 30,000 ha of peatland drained for agriculture

Emissions reduced by 300,000 tons of CO2eq. pa

Estimated damage from avoided CO2 loss : 21.7 million EUR/year or 700 EUR/ha

Carbon offsetting scheme created, based on this experience

conditions to be fulfilled
Conditions to be fulfilled

Work across the sectors egclimate change, economic investment, development planning, housing, sanitation and water resources, food production, transport and education

Involve the local community

Raise awareness and influence behaviour and practices that led to the degradation

Address restoration at catchment level