The Source, Annual Review 2020


Supporting indigenous communities in the world’s largest tropical wetland, the Pantanal In 2020, communities in the Pantanal suffered back-to- back crises with the Covid-19 pandemic and the highest number of fires in the last 22 years. The Pantanal forms the largest tropical wetland in the world and approximately 40,606 square kilometres or 30% of its wetlands were en- gulfed by flames. Together with partners and the Brazilian government, we coordinated support for indigenous com- munities by providing water and food parcels, and helping them become self-sufficient in growing food and setting up tree nurseries in readiness for restoration. The fires affect- ed not just the Pantanal, but the entire blue corridor that reaches down to the Paraná Delta in Argentina, all of which we are working to safeguard through our Corredor Azul Programme.

Urban wetlands for heat-proofing cities Urban wetlands are well known for their ecosystem servic- es of flood protection, biodiversity habitat and aesthetic values, but they also play a key role in regulating urban microclimates. In fact, urban wetlands can be a solution for cities struggling with the urban heat island (UHI) effect. Especially in a healthy state, they absorb heat and reduce temperatures in their surroundings. We investigated this UHI reduction service in Mexico City and published a com- pendium guide with the Climate Centre.

Youth power in Rift Valley, Ethiopia Ethiopia’s Central Rift Valley lakes are under threat by negative impacts from human activities in the last two decades. To reverse the worsening situation, various stake- holders including Ethiopia Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), local communities, and Wetlands International are working closely on a number of initiatives. One of these is the formation of four community-based youth associations whose livelihoods are directly linked to the lakes. They have been trained on restoration and alternative liveli- hoods, wetlands management and negotiation skills. So far, restoration has been conducted in over 700 hectares by 862 youth members.

AEWA celebrates 25 years

In June 2020, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of AEWA, the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds. Wetlands International is proud to be a long-standing partner and serve on the Technical Com- mittee of AEWA. Together with AEWA we have worked on landmark projects and tools such as the Climate Resilient Flyways Project, the Critical Site Network Tool, Conserva- tion Status Reviews and the Wings Over Wetlands partner- ship that delivered significant outcomes for the betterment of waterbird populations, their habitats, and wetland com- munities. lands-for-cooler-cities/ ful-flyway-conservation-in-practice/ ing-ethiopias-central-rift-valley-lakes/ number-of-fires-in-the-pantanal/



Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

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