What it's about:
The world's wetlands are an often overlooked natural resource. They capture carbon dioxide, regulate water flows and provide water, food and raw materials for many.
In Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, more than 50 percent of wetlands were converted to other uses during the 20th century, by controlled flooding and drainage. Many were used for intensive farming and urban development but also in other parts of the world for the creation of rice paddies, sugar estates or fish farms.
Now, in Africa, many are viewing wetlands as a new agricultural frontier and exploring sustainable wetland management systems as a way of reducing rural poverty, improving food security and strengthening livelihood resilience in the face of climate change.
For example, on the east and west coasts of Africa, mangrove swamps provide a buffer against storm surges, cyclones and tsunamis, as well as providing breeding grounds for fish and carbon storage.
Why it's noteworthy:
World Wetlands Day on Feb. 2 highlighted the importance of wetlands around the world and the pivotal role they play in disaster risk reduction.
Managing wetlands more effectively and efficiently in Africa is inextricably linked to improving people’s livelihoods and their resilience in the face of disasters. By empowering communities to harness and manage wetland areas themselves, using their local knowledge and building institutions, the benefits will be manifold.
Read it on