Wetlands International Spreads its Roots
31 May 2008
Wetlands International is aiming to enhance the wise use of wetlands that provide a basis for human survival and development.
Attention: This article has been imported from our old websiteWhile we've taken every precaution to ensure that the content of this article remains intact, it may contain errors.
Wetlands International is the only global non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to the conservation of wetlands. Its main goal is to enhance the wise use of wetlands, as they provide a basis for human survival and development.’
This remarkable organisation that has recognised that –The conservation and restoration of ecosystems, in particular wetlands, could be one of the most cost-effective strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change.’ They have developed projects that are crucial in restoring areas that have been decimated by adverse weather or have had their natural costal defences removed through programmes of heavy industry of intensive farming.
One such programme was the extensive Green Coast project that has brought about difference in the lives of many Tsunami-impacted communities.
Partnering with local NGOs all along the coast, the Green Coast effort has managed to put the smile back on many faces and brought back hope in the hearts of the poor and marginalized who had borne the brunt of the colossal tragedy.
The uniqueness of the Green Coast Project has been the complete and wholesome way in which the rescue and rehabilitation effort has been undertaken. Projects in coastal agricultural villages have focused on training farmers in new and more efficient farming methods, making use of organic products as pesticides and fertilisers that are cost-effective yet environment friendly and learning to efficiently conserve rainwater in farm ponds that come in useful when rainfall is below expectations. Growing of alternate crop like coconut is also encouraged in order to supplement income from agriculture.
Women are encouraged to form self-help groups and pursue income-generating activities like coconut palm weaving, vermicomposting, growing and caring for nurseries and marketing the saplings, etc. This has led to a big change in their status in the community.
Children are taught to be sensitive to nature and given environmental education in various ways like through puppetry and story telling sessions or even through practical experience in growing herbal gardens, helping to plant mangroves etc.
Fishing communities have been helped so they can be less dependant on income from the sea since over fishing is believed to have affected fish stocks adversely after the tsunami. They are trained to grow multi-species shelterbelts and mangroves, and regenerate and protect sand dunes to safeguard against future disasters.
But the Wetland International Organisation reaches much further than the Green Coast Project. They have made the significant link between the Wetland wellbeing and human wellbeing. Many years of field works and research lead them to identify the crucial role that healthy wetlands can play in poverty reduction. Previously this link was hardly ever taken into account. Their project Wetlands and Poverty Reduction (WPRP)’ aims to change this situation. It hopes to increase the ability of the development sector to take into account the values of wetlands in their planning and activities, while also influencing the conservation and environment sector to consider the necessity of poverty reduction and socio-economic development into their planning and actions.
As well as their projects and collaborations with local communities, other aid organisations and NGO’s there are a vast array of conferences and symposiums, publications and reports that Wetlands International produce. All their activities are aimed at raising awareness of the vital role that the world’s wetlands play in the wellbeing of our costal regions and their communities both now and in the future.
If you wish to find out more about Wetlands International and their work there will be a full feature in the next Positive Living.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a donation
Donating helps us keep reporting on positive news