Wetlands are facing the most rapid decline of all ecosystems. At the same time, they offer vast and largely untapped carbon storage potential. By working to safeguard and restore wetlands, countries can both fight the adverse effects of climate change and ensure benefits to human livelihoods and biodiversity.
In a new report, experts in climate change and nature-based solutions (NBS) are calling for wetlands to play a much larger role in countries’ climate mitigation efforts going forward. The Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and Wetlands International suggest that now is the most important time to properly value wetlands for their carbon storage potential, as countries are in the midst of revising and updating their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement.
Locking Carbon in Wetlands: Enhancing Climate Action by Including Wetlands in NDCsis written for policymakers and national climate planners to provide the scientific rationale behind the integral role of wetlands — and especially peatlands — within the global carbon cycle. In addition to mitigation benefits, wetlands can provide significant climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction (DRR), ecological, and societal co-benefits, the report argues. With wetlands found in nearly every country across the globe, the report seeks to demonstrate the various ways countries can tap into the undervalued potential of their own wetland ecosystems.To translate science into practical and measurable action, the report includes a series of policy recommendations for national climate planners and Parties to the UNFCCC. Recommendations are intended to provide guidance around analysis of costs and benefits, measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) frameworks, and prioritization of key actions including wetland conservation, restoration, and wise use. The report and policy brief are being launched in conjunction with Water Week for Development (WW4D) on 24 August. More details and download links are available at https://www.alliance4water.org/locking-carbon-in-wetlands.
Alex MauronerNetwork DirectorAlliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)www.alliance4water.org