1 June 2015 - Wetlands International advocates a focus on a key role for wetlands in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and for strengthening resolutions on peatlands and on disaster risk reduction; and an increased budget at the 12th global wetland conference (Ramsar COP12) in Punta del Este, Uruguay (1-9 June 2015).
Punta del Este, Uruguay – A Ramsar Convention with an increased budget and stronger resolutions. This is the objective of Wetlands International at the 12th Conference of Parties (1-9 June) of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, also known as the Ramsar Convention. The global NGO, through a multi-office team of wetland experts, will make the case that stepping up action to implement the new Ramsar Strategic Plan is vital to slow and reverse wetland loss, as a major contribution to sustainable development. Furthermore, it will encourage Parties to strengthen resolutions on disaster risk reduction and peatlands for their crucial services in protecting people´s lives and mitigation climate change, respectively.
At this global wetland conference, some crucial commitments will be made the COP by the country delegations that are party to the Ramsar Convention. In these times of rapid change, new threats to wetlands emerge with an unprecedented frequency and impacts. Unsustainable luxury housing and tourism developments destroy coastal wetlands such as mangroves. The expansion of soybean cultivation in South America generates the loss and degradation of wetlands and the key services that these ecosystems provide. Palm oil expansion is ravaging tropical peatlands of Southeast Asia. In the Northern hemisphere drained peatlands go up in smoke or are devastated for oil production; all of these activities fuel global climate change and affect biodiversity, but also jeopardize long-term sustainable development.
“We have lost so much of our wetland treasure and what remains is under growing pressure. As a result, people and nature are becoming more and more vulnerable. Governments, NGOs and the private sector urgently need to commit to work together to turn this around. The Ramsar Convention COP12 needs to make the rallying call“, states CEO Madgwick.