Wetlands are key pieces in the climate puzzle

Wetlands are an important component of our global climate system, and crucial for water security and resilience. As the world meets on climate change in Glasgow, the Convention on Wetlands (also known as the Ramsar Convention) is hosting several events highlighting the multiple benefits of wetland conservation and restoration.

The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands is organizing three events during COP 26:

  • Financing Wetlands Conservation and Restoration for Climate Benefits – Challenges and Opportunities; 4 November, 10.00-12.00 UTC; Republic of Korea Pavilion; #COP26
  • Partners for Wetlands: Decade for Wetland Restoration; 8 November, 11:00-12:00 UTC; Peatlands Pavilion; #COP26
  • Leveraging MEA synergies: Peatland protection and restoration for climate outcomes; 10 November, 17:00-18:30 UTC; Peatlands Pavilion; #COP26

In addition, the Secretariat is also contributing to several other events.
See the overview here.

The Convention on Wetlands has also launched new publications on blue carbon ecosystems and peatlands These publications provide:

  • Policy recommendations for managing peatlands and blue carbon ecosystems to mitigate climate change.
  • Best practices on wise use and restoration of peatland ecosystems.
  • Information on extent and carbon storage capabilities of blue carbon ecosystems in Wetlands of International Importance.

The value of wetlands in and around cities is often still not fully appreciated. In recent years, Ramsar has awarded the status of “Wetland City” for the conservation and wise use of urban and peri-urban wetlands. So far, 18 cities in China, France, Hungary, South Korea, Madagascar and Sri Lanka have achieved this distinction. Read more about the Wetland City Accreditation scheme and how your city can get involved here.

Many partner organisations of CitiesWithNature are doing important work on wetlands. Examples include the following:

ICLEI, through its Cities Biodiversity Centre, is working with the City of Johannesburg in South Africa, inter alia, to map urban natural assets such as wetlands, enhance water catchment management and to better manage invasive alien plant species (a critical threat to wetlands). Wetland Management Guidelines for Building Capacity and Supporting Effective Management of Wetlands within South African Municipalities have also been developed. Read the guidelines here.

The UN Environment Programme works on protecting peatlands for people and planet, as part of the Global Peatlands Initiative. Read more here. Ecosystems like wetlands and mangroves, also in and around cities, are a priority for the UN Decade on Ecosystem RestorationRead more here. 

Wetlands is also one of the important practice areas for WWF. Read more about their work here and here.  

Anzali Lagoon in Iran is Ramsar-recognised and used to be an important fishery, but siltation, urban development, pollution and invasive alien plants threaten the ecosystem and the benefits it provides to people.