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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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almost the size of Russia.
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)
40% LOST IN 40 YRS
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)
Over 16 million mangroves planted
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
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
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
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