The “nexus” between water, food and energy is one of the most fundamental relationships and challenges for society.The importance of this nexus was re-emphasised at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012.
…Wetlands are a fundamental part of local and global water cycles and are at the heart of this nexus. We also expect wetlands to be key to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…
…However, the full value of water and wetlands needs to be recognised and integrated into decision- making in order to meet our future social, economic and environmental needs. Using the maintenance and enhancement of the benefits of water and wetlands is, therefore, a key element in a transition to a green economy.
TEEB – THe Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity – has prodcued some wonderful itterature over recent years. This July they’ve produced a report focusing on wetlands, and seems to suggest that the most important ecosystem when it comes to that interaction between Nature and the Economy is wetlands indeed. This is not only due to the number of ecosystem services they provide to so many aspects of the human Economy – water, energy, agriculture – but also because they are so threatened in so many regions around the world.
The report is reponding to the priorisation of wetlands under the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012, and the resulting documents "The Future We Want". The report goes on to suggest wetlands will also bea big part of the Millenium Development Goals too.
It’s great to see this kind of emphasis given to wetlands. TEEB say they are more valuable than other ecosystems.
The report goes on to talk about how to measure and assess wetlands, improve decision-making around wetlands and development/infrastrucutre impacting wetlands, and how to manage wetlands better.
So I think this is good. We have lots of good ways to conserve, preserve, and restore wetalnds. It seems to be a high-return venture – you can create or recreate wetalnds in a number of locations big and small, and almost all bioshere and region around the world has some place for wetland ecosystems. They’ve traditionally been one of the most marginalised ecosystems due to public perception, conflict with agriculture and other coastal prioririties. But there have also been some notable conservation successes at the local, regional and programatic levels.
So if we could prioritise wetlands like this TEEB report promotes, there’s also a good change we could make it work.
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