What is it about?

Wetlands are of great importance: not just from an environmental perspective but also because their ecosystems support many livelihoods. But climate change is a huge threat to wetlands. Increasing carbon dioxide levels and global warming are taking their toll on wetlands. Changing rain patterns and water pollution are making it worse. These issues impact plants, animals, and fish in wetlands. The increase in sea level can decay shorelines and coastal habitats and degrade delicate coral reefs. But how can we protect our wetlands in the face of rising climate change? A 2022 paper presents some solutions. The paper starts with detailing climate change directives that have been helpful in the past. The 1971 Ramsar Convention, for example, has played a significant role in the directing the sustainable use of wetlands. About 2,500 sites around the world come under its purview. It has helped the conservation of these sites. It also helps promote sustainable tourism. Apart from this, the Sustainable Development Goals set in 2015 have proven beneficial. The goals focus on the protection of freshwater, marine, and coastal systems. They help by developing relevant policies for the same. Such directives enable wise ecosystem management. Along with these, monitoring the condition and capacity of wetland ecosystems is crucial, as it can create a robust global wetland information system. This system can provide the data required to understand climate change and its impacts at various levels. These data can, in turn, guide effective national and global governance.

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Why is it important?

Climate change can reduce the economic value of wetland ecosystems. By extension, this could affect the livelihood of many communities that depend on them. So, it is crucial to protect wetlands and their habitats. This paper provides relevant data from the Indian subcontinent to draw our attention to this problem.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Factoring Climate Change Risks in the Wetland Ecosystems Governance: A Policy Look Ahead+, Environmental Policy and Law, July 2022, IOS Press, DOI: 10.3233/epl-219036.
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