The Source, Annual Review 2020

More countries will tap the “low hanging fruit” that tackling Blue Carbon or peatlands offers


If we are to reach the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement, we need to urgently safeguard and restore wetland carbon stores. To make that happen, both public and private finance have to be mobilised at scale. Both countries and companies need to take responsibility by reducing emissions while also supporting Nature-based Solutions. Wetlands International collaborates with companies to support them on their pathway to net zero through combined emission reductions and Nature-based Solutions. In doing so, best practice on responsible corporate climate action will be developed and shared. Such best practices can take different forms in different situations, and it will evolve as the rules of the Paris Agreement are being shaped. In 2020, we were proud to announce the following two new partnerships with leading companies:

Peatlands make up approximately one fifth of Ireland’s landscape, an immense potential to store carbon.

Greenchoice Wetlands International started working with the Dutch sustainable energy company Greenchoice in 2020. We are working together to accelerate and support climate change mitigation by protecting and restoring wetlands that yield climate, biodiversity and community benefits. We aim to be a catalyst that leverages further climate action by pioneering novel solutions and sharing our knowledge and experiences. Our first joint project concerns mangrove restoration in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. The project in Guinea-Bissau will restore at least 2,500 ha of mangroves, removing carbon directly from the atmosphere and making a positive contribution to the local biodiversity and community in the process. We plan to develop further joint projects in other types of wetlands and other countries.

Boskalis Dredging and offshore contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) and Wetlands International have worked together for several years as members of Ecoshape, a pioneering consortium developing Building with Nature principles for flood defence, coastal restoration and sustainable ports. The impacts of climate change on coastal systems and communities are becoming ever more apparent, but healthy coastal wetlands act as climate buffers and carbon stores. In 2020, Wetlands International and Boskalis joined forces to develop the knowledge and expertise required to safeguard and restore coastal wetlands to meet climate targets while benefitting biodiversity and local communities. Together we are committed to share the learnings from the collaboration with the sector as a whole.

Further, we are working with dredging and offshore contractor Boskalis to develop the knowledge and expertise required to help restore coastal wetland habitat to meet climate targets, while addressing related issues such as biodiversity conservation. There remains much potential. While more than a hundred countries have mangrove forests, fewer than 30 initially included them in their NDCs for climate mitigation. We hope that as countries review their NDCs every five years, more will tap the “low hanging fruit” that tackling blue carbon or peatlands offers. One such country could be Ireland, where a fifth of the land is covered in peat. After advice from Wetlands International and others, the government in 2020 finalised a ground- breaking programme for rehabilitating its bogs, including turning the country’s main peat-fuel company into its chief peatland restorer. Dublin announced that from the start of 2021 it would report its greenhouse gas emissions and removals from bogs. “We are ready to support Ireland to turn its knowledge into action, restoring its amazing peatlands to benefit people and nature for the long term,” says our CEO Jane Madgwick.

Such technical work is vital if countries are going to benefit. Under UN climate rules, they can only count reductions in emissions as part of their NDCs if they have previously declared their sources of wetland emissions, and established baseline “business as usual” scenarios from which to calculate reductions. Our expertise in charting a path for governments is vital.

Partners Greenchoice Boskalis Permian Global (exploring in 2020: Landscape Finance Lab & Commonland)

Donors Greenchoice

Boskalis COmON Dutch Postcode Lottery Ecoshape

Wetlands International Annual Review 2020 The Guinea-Bissau project will create the right hydrological and socio-economic conditions for mangroves to grow back naturally.

Boskalis COO Theo Baartmans and Wetlands International CEO Jane Madgwick at the signing ceremony of the partnership.



Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

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