The-Source-Annual-Review-2021

The Source 2021 Annual Review of Wetlands International

What are wetlands? Wetlands occur wherever water meets land – mangroves, peatlands, marshes, rivers, lakes, deltas, floodplains, flooded forests, rice-fields, and even coral reefs. Wetlands exist in every country across the world and every type of region – polar, tropical, wet, dry, high and low altitude. Healthy wetlands are key to restoring nature and healing our climate, yet the world has lost up to 65% of its original wetlands. Urgent action is needed to reverse this decline and revive these natural wonders.

WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL IS THE ONLY GLOBAL NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANISATION DEDICATED TO THE CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION OF WETLANDS

Our Vision A world where wetlands are treasured and nurtured for their beauty, the life they support and the resources they provide.

Our Mission To inspire and mobilise society to safeguard and restore wetlands for people and nature.

Aerial view of man and child picking lotus flowers in swamps.

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

ANNUAL REVIEW 2021 CONTENT

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Ibrahima Sadio Fofana

Richard Holland

Ritesh Kumar

GLOBAL VOICES FOR WETLANDS

VIEWS FROM THE WATERS EDGE

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WETLANDS AND NATURE TAKE COP26 CENTRE STAGE

SUMMARY OF FINANCE AND RE- SOURCING

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ACHIEVE- MENTS

FUNCTION- ING OF THE ORGANISA - TION

FROM OUR CEO

FROM THE SUPERVISORY COUNCIL

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Cinthia Soto

WORKING THROUGH PARTNER- SHIPS TO ACCELERATE WETLAND RECOVERY

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THANK YOU

6 Julien Anseau

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HIGH- LIGHTS

STRATEGIC INTENT

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1 OUR OFFICES 2

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Apri Susanto Astra

10 Silvina Schuchner 12 13 11

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1. Latin America & Caribbean Panama 2. Brazil 3. Latin American & Caribbean Argentina 4. Global office

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5. Europe 6. Russia 7. West Africa Coastal 8. Guinea-Bissau 9. Sahel

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10. Ethiopia 11. Uganda 12. Eastern Africa 13. Tanzania 14. South Asia 15. Malaysia

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

FROM OUR CEO

Jane Madgwick, Chief Executive Officer, Wetlands International

Two days before the UN climate summit, I had the opportunity to speak with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at an event hosted by the Global Center on Adaptation in Rotterdam. We discussed the urgency of increasing efforts to protect and restore wetlands — and peatlands in particular — to combat the climate emergency. With peatlands storing twice as much carbon as the world’s forests, wetlands must be at the centre of the narrative on how we can meet our global climate goals. PM Trudeau made this subject a key part of his statement at the event and followed up with new commitments in the Glasgow summit.

Restored wetlands from aquaculture ponds in Liaohe Estuary, China

More than ever, our goals and ways of working are relevant to the global agenda. We see good signs in terms of scaling up our impact. In 2021, we witnessed a stronger focus on water in the climate dialogues as well as heightened understanding that the biodiversity and climate crises are highly interdependent. Throughout the year we profiled “wetland Nature-based Solutions” as bridges connecting the nature, water and climate agendas, using our programme achievements to provide evidence on how to upscale. Backing up the ambition set out in our Strategic Intent 2020-2030, we promoted dialogue and support for global wetland targets to be included in the Global Biodiversity Framework review process. The scale of wetland recovery we need to see is formidable and must become everyone’s business. We have achieved some exciting milestones and outcomes in 2021. For example, in Building with Nature Indonesia (2015-2021) we showed that by having good scientific insights, engaging the right blend of partners and using an inclusive, holistic landscape approach, it is possible in as little as five years to create a more resilient mangrove coast, enhance the prosperity and safety of local villages, enable long-term sustainability and create the conditions for upscaling.

Examples like this encouraged us in 2021 to diversify and strengthen our strategic partnerships to develop and finance a portfolio of large-scale wetland landscape regeneration programmes, as further illustrated in this review. These landscape initiatives will be a source of inspiration and global learning, as well as bringing biodiversity, social and economic benefits locally. To deliver long-term landscape impacts, we have invested in additional staff capacities, new partnerships, and more intensive collaboration across the entire network of offices despite ongoing Covid-19 constraints. In 2021, with dedicated finance we invested in stepping up our communications and fundraising capacities as well as supporting partnership and programme development. With flexible funding, an enhanced staff team and a growing portfolio of strategic partners, Wetlands International is increasingly well positioned to scale up its influence and impact, largely through inspiring and mobilising many others to take action. One exciting mechanism for this is working with partners in a set of iconic wetland landscapes to demonstrate and refine the systematic “4 Returns for landscape

regeneration” approach, that we launched with Commonland and the Landscape Finance Lab in 2021. This approach will bring our experience and knowledge to the fore and will help us to better connect our work on shaping integrated solutions for wetlands at the landscape level with our influence on national and global policies and investments. Looking ahead and mindful that we are running out of time to achieve global climate goals, our most urgent and important task is to engage broader support to safeguard and restore wetlands for people, climate and nature. Towards the end of 2021, we thanked André van der Zande for his outstanding service as Chair of Wetlands International and welcomed him into the prestigious group of Counsellors of Honour. We welcomed Jan Ernst de Groot back into the Chair and I look forward to work with him and a diverse, talented Council, as well as a growing set of country Chairs, to chart the upward development of our organisation worldwide. Lastly, I want to express my deep gratitude to our growing partners, donors, members and staff around the world for their invaluable contributions and collaboration.

Jane Madgwick, CEO, Wetlands International

Thank you.

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

Call for focus on wetlands in 2030 Action Targets

A common language and route to large scale ecosystem restoration

2. Mangroves A net gain of 20% in global mangrove cover by 2030.

The urgent need and opportunity to address the joint bio- diversity and climate crises by restoring nature and natural processes is recognised and there is growing interest to finance Nature-based Solutions at a whole landscape scale. However, the challenge of preparing high-quality proposi- tions for investment can be a barrier to action. In 2021, Wetlands International officially became a supporting partner of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and forged new partnerships to mobilise and upscale action to restore wetland landscapes at scale. Our knowledge and experience in all regions are highly valuable to address this challenge. So, we teamed up with Commonland and the Landscape Finance Lab to set out and launch The 4 Returns Framework for Landscape Restoration: a step by step, systematic approach to bring stakeholders together to transform their landscape for four returns: natural, financial and social returns, and the return of inspiration. This framework offers a common language for landscape regeneration that can help bridge the different sectors and interests in any landscape and enable collaboration for transformation over the long-term. During a launch event on World Environment Day which our CEO moderated, financiers, UN officials, NGOs, government representatives and indigenous leaders gave their backing and heard from those who had tested the approach in different contexts and regions. For more info on the 4 returns framework, visit: https://www.wetlands.org/publications/the-4-returns- framework-for-landscape-restoration/

Wetlands International welcomed the draft Global Biodiversity Framework to guide actions worldwide through 2030 to conserve and restore nature and its essential services to people, and drew attention to the importance of having specific wetlands conservation and restoration targets in achieving the goals set in the new global biodiversity framework of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). With other international organisations, Wetlands International has drawn up proposed targets that should be included in the new global agreement on biodiversity, promoted as part of Nature-based Solutions to climate change, and backed by the UN’s current decade for ecosystem restoration.

3. Rivers and floodplains Remaining free-flowing rivers and floodplains are preserved and river connectivity is enhanced, restoring floodplain ecosystem functionality and area by 2030.

4. Tidal flats A net gain of 10% in the area of tidal flats by 2030.

5. Migratory birds 50% of the estimated 7,000 critically important sites identified along flyways come under favourable management by 2030. For more info on wetland targets, visit: https://www.wetlands.org/news/wetlands-international- welcomes-the-2030-action-targets-and-calls-for-a-focus- on-wetlands/

The 2030 targets we propose for global adoption include:

1. Peatlands The remaining undrained peatland carbon stores remain intact and 10 million hectares of drained peatland are restored by 2030.

Coastal wetlands such as mangroves sequester carbon up to 55 times faster than tropical rainforests

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

A knowledge-base and call to action for mangroves In July, the Global Mangrove Alliance released the ground- breaking report, The State of the World’s Mangroves, which compiles for the first time ever the very latest information available on the value of mangroves and how we can reverse the downward trend impacting the world’s best natural carbon sinks.

Leading the way for how to Build with Nature By collaborating with Wetlands International and many international partners, Indonesia has become a pioneer country for Building with Nature: an approach to infrastructure and environmental management that works with the forces of nature, rather than opposing them. Our programme, Building with Nature Indonesia, creates stable coastlines with reduced erosion risk through a unique integration of mangrove restoration, small scale hard- engineering and sustainable land use. Our publication, Restoring an Eroding Coastline and Inspiring Action at Scale (2015-2021), summarises the insights and lessons from our landscape scale implementation of the Building with Nature approach between 2015 and 2021 in Demak, a coastal area in Central Java impacted by erosion, flooding and devastating land loss. Local communities helped shape the design and led the implementation, ensuring long-term sustainability, while it was developed and financed through a unique public-private partnership under the leadership of the Indonesian government, Wetlands International and Ecoshape. The success here has already led to replication and upscaling in many other environments in Indonesia and has stimulated other countries in the region to follow suit. As part of the project, we published technical guidelines for restoring eroding tropical coastlines, to support the scaling up of Nature-based Solutions as an alternative to traditional coastal engineering solutions. For more information on Building with Nature, visit: https:// www.wetlands.org/publications/building-with-nature-in- indonesia-restoring-an-eroding-coastline-and-inspiring- action-at-scale-2015-2021/

Wetlands and nature take centre stage at Glasgow climate talks

Alliances built for saving Sahelian wetlands The Blue Lifelines for a Secure Sahel (BLiSS) initiative brings focus on water management and accelerates the safeguarding, restoration, and sustainable use of the Sahel’s wetland ecosystems, including rivers, lakes, floodplains, and deltas. In late 2021 we launched our Blue Lifelines strategy, developed together with our core partners CARE, International Alert, and the International Water Management Institute. Together, we are building a wider alliance in the Sahel region of government agencies, private sector, and civil society organisations to catalyse change and achieve our ambitious goals and long-term impact. Specifically, for 2030, we propose a goal to safeguard and restore 20 million hectares of wetlands in six major wetland systems and four basins across the Sahel, enhancing the resilience of 10 million people to climate risk, poverty, conflict, and displacement while benefiting biodiversity.

There was a growing realisation at COP26 that without enabling nature to recover, including wetlands, there is no 1.5° C future.

Wetlands International co-organised the first-ever Peatland Pavilion, which shone a light on peatlands and positioned us as a key player with a proven track record in their protection and rehabilitation. We also contributed to the first-ever Water Pavilion which helped raise the need for better water management in tackling climate change. Continuing our long-standing participation in the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action — enabling collaboration between governments and cities, regions, businesses, and investors to immediately lower emissions and increase resilience against climate impacts — we emphasised the critical role of wetlands in contributing to resilient water management and the increased role for water and water-related activities in NDC enhancement. COP26 signalled a new beginning in the need to invest in natural climate solutions as a core part of climate action. An Article 6 rulebook agreement was a positive step to activate the necessary finance needed to protect nature and wetlands, and benefit those on the frontlines of the climate emergency while keeping global heating to below 1.5° Celsius

Coordinated by Wetlands International and The Nature Conservancy — both members of the Alliance — and drawing from the Global Mangrove Watch, we contributed significantly to this remarkable synthesis, alongside 100 authors from around the world who shared cutting- edge science and compelling stories. We now have the knowledge to turn things around for these critical ecosystems. As we begin to realise their full value — as carbon stores, fish factories, coastal defences and more — ever-greater efforts need to be made to protect what remains, and to upscale programmes of restoration. For more information on the State of the World’s Mangroves report, visit: https://www.wetlands.org/ publications/state-of-the-worlds-mangroves/

In 2021, we used the strategy to raise political awareness and endorsement for BLiSS at key events such as the 6th Regional Committee Meeting of the Great Green Wall Initiative and in bilateral dialogues with governments including Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti.

For more information on Blue Lifelines for a Secure Sahel, visit: https://www.wetlands.org/casestudy/bliss/

For more information on peatland track record, visit: https://peatlands.wetlands.org/

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

“Healthy wetland ecosystems provide people with clean water, provide nurseries for aquatic life upon which local communities depend, and act as critical carbon sinks serving both adaptation and mitigation.” https://www.wildlifeday.org/content/message-elizabeth-maruma- mrema-executive-secretary-general-convention-biological- diversity Elizabeth Maruma Mrema Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity on the occasion of World Wildlife Day “Less than 1% of the water on Earth is usable freshwater and is mostly stored in wetlands such as rivers, streams, lakes, marshes, estuaries, and aquifers. We are in a water crisis with profound consequences and wetlands are at the heart of its resolution.” Martha Rojas Urrego Secretary General, Ramsar Convention on

GLOBAL VOICES FOR WETLANDS

“Marshes and other wetlands may seem unproductive and inhospitable to humans, but in fact they provide us with essential services. They store carbon, give us clean water and food, protect us from floods, as well as offer habitats for one in ten of the world’s known species.” Dr Bruno Oberle IUCN Director General on the launch of IUCN Red List - Dec 2021.

https://civicrm.iucn.org/civicrm/mailing/view?id=4171&re- set=1-

Wetlands, on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2022

“The shrinking availability of water and impact on resource availability in places like Chad contributes to the fragility of the Sahel region. Inclusion of water and wetlands in the NDCs is important but it’s equally important to include the link to conflict. Communities themselves are key to joined-up land and water management. Bringing in the local and indigenous peoples’ knowledge is vital to transforming the landscape” https://www.wetlands.org/news/setting-global-targets-would-dri- ve-investment-needed-to-scale-up-wetland-recovery-for-clima- te-action/ Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim Peul Mbororo, Indigenous Women and Peoples Association of Chad

https://www.ramsar.org/news/statement-by-martha-ro- jas-urrego-secretary-general-of-the-convention-on-wet- lands-on-world-0

“Why should wetlands be top of our agenda? Because improving the way we manage, recreate and share wetlands is so critical that if we get it wrong, history has proven that it can bring about disease, species extinction, mass migration and even war. However, if we get it right, they will continue to bring clean water, abundance of food, jobs, leisure, wildlife experiences and greater well-being.” Sacha Dench Ambassador for the UN’s Convention on Migratory Species & CEO & Founder of Conservation without Borders

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

2030 goals set in our Strategic Intent. On behalf of the whole organisation, we would like to thank the COmON Foundation for their trust in Wetlands International and the support provided. In 2021, we said goodbye to several members: Kathy MacKinnon, our Vice-Chair, who retired after nine years of service; Carlos Saavedra due to ill health; and Ulrike Sapiro due to her appointment in a new position. Our thanks go to them for the support, enthusiasm and inspiration that they provided to Wetlands International. We were also delighted to welcome Miguel Jorge, who was appointed as a new member to the Council and Board at the end of 2021. Finally, December 2021 marked the end of my own term as Chair of Wetlands International, a function which I have held with enormous pride since 2015. I was delighted to hand over the baton to Jan Ernst de Groot who has taken over as Chair of the organisation. I would like to wish Jan Ernst and other members of the Supervisory Council and Board of Association all the best in helping Wetlands International succeed in its mission to inspire and mobilise society to safeguard and restore wetlands for people and nature. I will be cheering loudly from the sidelines.

FROM THE SUPERVISORY COUNCIL André van der Zande, Chair (retired December 2021)

Although 2021 was dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Wetlands International ended the year in a much stronger position than we could have hoped for in January. I believe this was due to a combination of wetlands being taken seriously as a key part of the fight against climate change and biodiversity collapse, as well as the skill and resilience of the organisation’s staff in adapting to new ways of working and continuing to achieve results despite the limitations. The Council and Board of Association met regularly in 2021, keeping close contact with the CEO and Management Team through online meetings. Fortunately, restrictions had eased sufficiently by November, allowing us to meet in-person in Maastricht, Netherlands. The location of this meeting enabled members to see at first hand the effects of the devastating floods that hit the region in July 2021 and how wetland restoration in the Geul valley could reduce future risks through increasing

the ‘sponginess’ of the landscape. This is a prime example of the role that wetlands play in building resilience against climate change. Our thanks go to our partners ARK and Stroming who guided us on this field visit. In addition to its responsibility to oversee the implementation of the organisation’s strategy, annual accounts and the annual review, the Council and Board of Association provided guidance to the CEO and Management Team on a range of key issues. These included a plan to build visibility and influence, strengthen strategic partnerships engaged in our initiatives, create a dedicated fundraising team, and review the organisation’s business model. Members were pleased to see the recognition that the organisation is receiving at the international level, with high profile roles at the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration in June, and at the Glasgow Climate COP in November where the role of peatland restoration received a major boost. We were delighted to receive confirmation that the Dutch Postcode Lottery awarded a three-year grant to the organisation, that will build on the results achieved with their support from 2018-2020. The past year also saw a highly significant deepening of our relationship with the COmON Foundation, who were already supporting our work on mangrove restoration (To-Plant-Or-Not-To-Plant initiative), organisational development, and in a partnership with Commonland - to test and promote the 4 Returns framework for landscape recovery. In December, the COmON Foundation decided to make Wetlands International a key grantee which will enable us to accelerate our action towards the

André van der Zande hands over the baton to Jan Ernst de Groot who has taken over as Chair of the Supervisory Council.

Wetlands International Supervisory Council

Angelique van de Beeten Member (Treasurer)

Jan Ernst de Groot Chair (joined in 2021)

Eliot Taylor Member

Kazuaki Hoshino Member

Maggie White Member

Hastings Chikoko Member

Miguel Ángel Jorge Member (joined in 2021)

André van der Zande Chair (retired in 2021)

Kathy MacKinnon Vice-Chair (retired in 2021)

Ulrike Sapiro Member (retired in 2021)

Carlos Saavedra Member (retired in 2021)

Adrie (A.N.) Papma Member

Field visit in Limburg, Netherlands to see at first hand the impact of the devastating floods that hit the region in July 2021.

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

STRATEGIC INTENT 2020-2030

Healthy Wetlands

Resilient Communities

Reduced Climate Risks

Over 2020-2030 Wetlands International aims to safeguard and restore tens of millions of hectares of wetlands, bringing multiple returns for nature and people. Our theory of change encapsulates the three main phases of our work: to inspire, mobilise and upscale. These are the key ingredients of our organisational strategy for the period 2020-2030.

Wetland habitats and functions safeguarded and restored: We

Water and food secured for wetland communities: We aim to prevent further wetland loss and degradation that undermines the natural productivity and water storage capacities of peatlands, floodplains, mangrove forests, deltas and lakes. We aim to improve and diversify the livelihoods of people dependent on wetlands, and promote best practices in agriculture and aquaculture, integrating wetland values into the local economy.

Wetland carbon stores secured and enhanced: We aim to bring wetlands into activities to adapt to and mitigate

aim to help conserve a selection of the most

intact wetland ecosystems and restore others within a full range of wetland types across the world. We also aim to restore other freshwater systems, peatlands, deltas and coastal ecosystems for their intrinsic, cultural and ecosystem-service values. We will prioritise ecological networks that connect landscapes, such as flyways and swim-ways.

climate change, which is otherwise a threat to the integrity of all wetlands. Improving the condition of peatlands, river systems and coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, saltmarshes and sea-grass beds will also reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and return many to their role as carbon sinks.

For this period, we are orientating our work to achieve three, interconnected global impacts: healthy wetlands, resilient wetland communities, and reduced climate risks.

Our vision, targets and strategic interventions are shaped according to landscapes. We focus on three broad categories of wetland landscapes: deltas and coasts, rivers and lakes, and peatlands. “Streams” of work are defined according to the specific contexts of these wetland landscape types.

Wetland Nature-based Solutions integrated into infrastructure developments: We aim to steer urban water

r

Wetland species recovered: Building on our long track record for waterbird conservation, we will contribute to the

Reduced societal conflict and displacement from wetlands: We will in particular

infrastructure investment and land- use planning towards using wetlands to meet challenges such as water insecurity and flooding that are conventionally addressed by civil engineering – an approach that often causes further loss and deterioration of wetlands.

d conservation of wetland biodiversity by working on selected flagship species and groups of species linked to specific habitats.

strive to resolve situations where deterioration of wetlands – caused by upstream abstraction, climate change or population growth -- contributes to loss of livelihoods, human displacement, conflict and migration. Where necessary, we will use peacebuilding and conflict resolution measures to address imbalanced power relations between stakeholders, building capacity for vulnerable and marginalised people to defend their rights to water and wetland resources.

Healthy Wetlands

Resilient Communities

Reduced Climate Risks

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We measure our progress across these three streams according to the following three interconnected global impacts and six outcomes.

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

RICHARD HOLLAND DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND NETWORK DEVELOPMENT

I am Richard Holland, Director of Operations and Network Development – a position I have held for three years now. Before this, I worked with WWF, Deltares, for a GEF-funded programme and for the European Commission. A constant throughout my career has been a drive to create positive change for water and wetlands. Although hard to pick favourites, I am especially proud of work I did in the Danube River Basin in the 1990s, the results of which are still being carried forward by governments and NGOs in the region. Growing up in Scotland with mountains, rivers, and moorland on my doorstep, I gained a love of the outdoors which continued throughout my studies and career. I enjoy working for

Wetlands International because of the passion and expertise held by the organisation’s staff from various parts of the world. Their ability to liaise with partners to achieve results that make a difference for people, nature and our climate, is admirable. My current focus is on building cooperation and capacities among our network teams to ensure that we can play a leading role in wetland landscape regeneration that will provide us with positive returns for communities and for biodiversity. I am proud of the way that, despite the constraints of the pandemic, we worked as a team to achieve important results, start new programmes, and attract highly qualified staff around the world.

Barnacle Geese, a migratory species which relies on Scotland’s wetlands

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

sustainable restoration of mangrove belts. • We launched a three-year initiative in Eastern Africa supported by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Source to Sea, to upscale an approach to combat the drivers of wetland loss and their biodiversity, and enable community resilience in the Rift Valley and mangrove ecoregions. • We secured two major research projects funded through the EU Horizon 2020 programme to develop solutions to influence EU policies (Common Agricultural Policy and EU Restoration law and Carbon Farming) and promote upscaling of peatland restoration by farmers and communities in Europe.

Further details of these results are provided below.

Setbacks Not everything went according to plan in 2021. Despite effectively adapting to working online, several of our programmes have experienced delays and uncertainties due to the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic. For example, the Sustainable Palm Oil Round Table (RSPO) training course for plantation owners on “Drainage Assessment” was postponed for a second year due to the inability to hold face-to-face interactions. Likewise, we were disappointed that critical global meetings for the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance had to be postponed again. Achievements in our three Streams On the following pages, we report on our 2021 achievements in more detail and provide the progress results we have made in each Stream toward our 2030 targets.

ACHIEVEMENTS

This chapter presents our 2021 achievements. Our work towards achieving our goals set out in our Strategic Intent 2020-2030 is organised into three Streams: Coasts and Deltas, Rivers and Lakes, and Peatlands. The section below summarises progress in 2021 towards the 10-year targets.

Impact Area - Reduced Climate Risks Highlights include:

• Peatlands were included in Russia’s Climate Action Plan (NDC) as a result of inventories we compiled for six regions totalling approximately 2.85 million ha of peatlands and monitored the GHG emissions according to international standards on 40,000 ha. • We witnessed further development of the Building with Nature Asia initiative, a programme that seeks to leverage investment in Nature-based Solutions to increase the resilience of 30 million vulnerable people in cities and settlements along vulnerable coasts and rivers by 2030 across the continent, by engaging government in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and India in programme design and strengthening actual propositions for investment in selected landscapes in the target countries. • Working with GIZ and other partners, we secured German government support to develop a major EUR 20 million programme for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the Niger Basin. Wetland carbon Wetland carbon is a rapidly developing cross-cutting topic that is relevant to all wetland landscape types. Over the past year, there has been a surge of interest in the role wetland conservation and restoration can play in reducing emissions and capturing carbon, while at the same time providing community and biodiversity benefits. In all three Streams, we made strong progress in developing landscape propositions and best practice guidance for using carbon financing to support action as diverse as mangrove restoration, fire prevention, and peatland rewetting. We also experienced a strong interest in our work on wetland carbon from finance institutions and companies, and we collaborated more strongly with our partners Permian Global, Boskalis, Greenchoice and Rewilding Europe. In 2021, we investigated the role of carbon finance for wetlands – including through a stand- out side event at COP26 – and defined principles to ensure socio-environmental integrity that we will advance in 2022 to unlock carbon finance for wetlands in a responsible way.

All of our achievements are the result of our teams working around the world with our many partners in local, national, and international networks. The achievements selected below are part of a long-term results framework and build partly on activities already started in previous years. We highlight those achievements where Wetlands International’s role or contribution has been significant and instrumental towards reaching long-term outcomes. Despite the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in most countries, we have seen many positive steps forward over the past year. At the end of 2021 we are slightly behind the schedule laid out in the Strategic Intent. Nevertheless, we have achieved important results and are confident we have a good basis for future mobilisation and upscaling towards our 2030 targets. Raising the profile of wetlands We took advantage of many international events throughout the year to promote the case for global targets that safeguard and restore wetlands. One highlight was the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration in June 2021, where as part of the official launch event we released The 4 Returns Framework for Landscape Restoration: a step by step, systematic approach to bring stakeholders together to transform their landscape for four returns: natural, financial and social returns, and the return of inspiration. This framework offers a common language for landscape regeneration that can help bridge the different sectors and interests in any landscape and enable collaboration for transformation over the long-term. The Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow provided a special focus for our work on peatlands, water resiliency, and responsible carbon finance advocacy. With partners we organised and successfully delivered the first

ever UNFCCC Peatland Pavilion and Water Pavilion. These enabled us to connect with governments, companies and partners and to create a platform that will enable us to scale up results for wetlands in the future. As well as seeing a shift in the way wetlands are perceived by the international community as a solution to the global climate, biodiversity and social crises, we are proud of the results that were achieved at regional, national and local level. Impact Area - Healthy Wetlands Highlights include: • We brought together and provided technical expertise to government partners to develop sustainable management plans for protected areas in The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania and Indonesia in over 400,000 hectares (ha) of mangroves and other coastal wetlands. • We completed the management plan for the 380,000 ha Pozuelos UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Argentina, including the 7,000 ha Lagoon, a Ramsar site, in close collaboration with governmental agencies. • We published the high altitude wetlands manual focusing on sustainable peatland and water management in the Himalayan highlands, which was welcomed by government agencies. • We published the first State of the World’s Mangroves Report in June 2021 with our Global Mangrove Alliance partners, using updated data from the Global Mangrove Watch platform. Impact Area - Resilient Wetland Communities Highlights include: • Government officials in China, Philippines and Indonesia adopted our Community-based Ecological Mangrove Restoration guidelines as part of our upscaling approach to protect coastal communities by accelerating the

OUR SCORING SYSTEM

On track to exceed target (we will achieve the target before 2030)

We expect to achieve the target by 2030

Substantial progress, but more time is needed to reach our target

So far, there is no significant overall progress

The situation is deteriorating and we can’t manage to make improvements

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

COASTS & DELTAS 2030 GLOBAL GOAL

Coasts & Deltas

Two years into our strategic intent, we already made significant progress towards the definition of landscape/ seascape development plans, which will drive the integration of sustainable production of wetland commodities into the broader supply chain of agriculture and aquaculture products, enhancing community resilience

Watch (GMW) platform. This report and GMW are key elements in our upscaling strategy to safeguard mangroves beyond activities in which we are directly involved, and to support policymakers and practitioners in planning, monitoring, and managing mangrove and related policies. We developed and implemented a blue carbon site selection process, and we prepared pre-feasibility assessments for blue carbon landscapes in Panama, Colombia, Indonesia, and Malaysia with corporate partners, along with dialogues on responsible carbon financing according to the mitigation hierarchy. We supported the government of South Korea with the listing of the 128,411 ha Getbol, Korean tidal flats under criteria of the World Heritage Convention. The site was officially added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO in July 2021, strengthening its protection status and stepping up conservation efforts and future investment. We joined forces with the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership to help government partners in the Yellow Sea adopt conservation and restoration guidance of intertidal wetlands. We worked with stakeholders to highlight the relevance of adopting the Paraná Delta Biodiversity Corridor Strategy which includes over 30 protected private and public areas that enable corridors for wildlife. The National Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development has incorporated the strategy within their priorities for the Paraná Delta.

Resilient wetland communities

Our goal is to safeguard and restore coastal wetland ecosystems as essential features of resilient and productive coastal landscapes. We will achieve our goal by tailoring our work to the different contexts we typically encounter in our target areas, ranging from heavily degraded or modified coastal areas to intact wetland landscapes.

We supported government partners in China, Philippines, and Indonesia to adopt guidelines for Ecological Mangrove Restoration as part of their strategies that will ultimately drive restoration of over 500,000 ha. This will support a shift from often unsuccessful mass-planting approaches to more inclusive community-based restoration strategies than can be scaled up across coastal landscapes. We provided technical support to the official drafting of a Regulatory Decree for Victoria´s Multiple Use Reserve Planning Committee in support of the Paraná Delta wetland conservation (272,000 ha). This builds on earlier activities with local stakeholders to adapt island cattle raising, tourism, and real estate development so that it helps restore habitats for fishing, beekeeping, marsh deer, capybara, and emblematic migratory birds. With key funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency we launched a three- year initiative called Source to Sea in Eastern Africa. This aims to upscale approaches to combat the drivers of wetland and biodiversity loss, in the Rift valley lakes and Eastern Africa mangrove ecoregions. The areas comprised are the Ziway-Shalla sub-basin in Ethiopia and the Omo-Turkana basins spreading across a large part of southwestern Ethiopian highlands and northern Kenya. The Lamu land and seascape covers an area of 627,310 ha and extends from the Kenya-Somali border to the Tana River with mangrove coverage of 60,000 ha; and the Rufiji Delta comprising the wider Rufiji, Mafia, Kilwa seascape, which represents 70% of Tanzania’s mangroves covering a total of 54,000 ha and internationally significant intertidal areas and coral reefs. In Guinea-Bissau, we developed plans to reinforce wetlands-dependent community livelihoods in the Cacheu National Park (88,064 ha), the Cantanhez National Park (120,987 ha) and their respective buffer zones, and we aim to further expand this work in the proposed Jeta-Pecixe- Cacheu landscape (423,475 ha).

Coasts & Deltas

Reduced climate risks

Coasts & Deltas Healthy wetlands

We continued the development of the Building with Nature Asia initiative, a programme that seeks to leverage investment in Nature-based Solutions to increase the resilience of 30 million vulnerable people in cities and settlements along vulnerable coasts and rivers by 2030 across the continent. We engaged government actors in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and India in sessions to design the programme and continued with the finetuning of actual propositions for investment in selected landscapes in the target countries. Together with other Global Mangrove Alliance members, we started the development of a set of guidelines on mangrove restoration. These consolidate existing high- quality guidance and include modules covering different restoration targets, including carbon sequestration, coastal defence, sustainable aquaculture development, and fisheries enhancement. The modules seek to promote large-scale adoption of ecological mangrove restoration principles.

For protected areas in The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania and Indonesia we supported government partners to develop plans for sustainable management of over 400,000 ha of mangroves and other coastal wetlands. In the development of these plans, we facilitated the involvement of community groups and other stakeholders. Currently, we are connecting these ‘landscape partners’ to collectively scale up conservation, restoration and livelihood interventions. Through the To-Plant-Or-Not-To-Plant initiative, we restored 758 ha of mangroves using Ecological Mangrove Restoration principles, and attracted significant upscaling investment interest in Guinea-Bissau, Philippines, and Indonesia. We took initial steps to develop landscape- scale restoration and management plans that will ultimately result in the restoration of tens of thousands of ha worldwide. This includes restoring 2,500 ha in Guinea-Bissau with support from our corporate partner Greenchoice to achieve climate, community, and biodiversity impact. We published the first State of the World’s Mangroves report in June 2021 with our Global Mangrove Alliance partners, using updated data from the Global Mangrove

By 2030, we aim to safeguard 2 million hectares of high value coastal wetlands, including those sites which make up vital wildlife migration corridors.

With 9 years remaining until 2030, we already have opportunities under development and concrete plans to restore and safeguard approximately 1.5 million ha and have initial leads to expand our work in additional countries

By 2030, we aim to mainstream Building with Nature and promote blue carbon solutions, influencing EUR 10 billion of investments in coastal infrastructure solutions.

By 2030, we aim to integrate wetlands into 8 million hectares of coastal production systems.

Inspired by our work on ecological mangrove restoration and Building with Nature, we received significant attention from the private sector, providing numerous opportunities for (carbon) investment toward wetland restoration

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

RIVERS & LAKES 2030 GLOBAL GOAL

We started the preparation of a comprehensive integrated management plan for three sub-basins of the Ganges River under the government-led National Mission for a Clean Ganges initiative. The three sub-basins span an area of nearly 1.9 million ha. We analysed over 280 wetlands in this basin and prepared 275 wetland health cards, which help government and other stakeholders prioritize responses to immediate threats and identify priority areas for future conservation efforts within these wetlands.

in three major wetland landscapes (Sourou Valley, Mali; Lac Wegnia, Mali; Ziway Shalla, Ethiopia). The approaches will ultimately drive more sustainable water use and facilitate wetland restoration across these major Sahelian wetland systems. We worked with farmers and landowners to ensure more than 33,000 ha of wetlands are under better cattle ranching practices in the Paraná Delta and Pantanal. As coordinators of the Wetlands Task Force under the government-led Latin American Initiative 20x20 for Ecosystem Restoration, we initiated a governmental dialogue to promote and enable wetland restoration within the region. One million ha will be restored and protected through forest management and sustainable livestock practices in Argentina (and 50m ha in the Latin America & Caribbean region) by 2030. We brought attention to the potential of upland wetlands or “natural sponges” to retain peak floodwaters in the aftermath of the floods in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and Netherlands. The research, advocacy and communications we undertook with partners has led to the concept now being embedded in the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change and in the EU Guidance on Barrier Removal for River Restoration.

scheme. This new fund was used to pilot a model for basin restoration which combats downstream flooding through innovative community-led reforestation (so-called ‘rainforestation’) and has so far brought back 60 ha of forest in the Cagayan de Oro river basin of the Philippines. We raised awareness and secured endorsement for the Blue Lifelines for a Secure Sahel initiative from civil society, African governments and intergovernmental bodies, including the World Bank, UNCCD, the EU, and the African Union’s Commission for the Great Green Wall Initiative as a result of the Climate Adaptation Summit and participation in African Union and Sahel G5 meetings. In collaboration with GIZ, IUCN, IWMI, BBC Media Action, and the Potsdam Institute, we gained approval from the German government to develop a major EUR 20 million climate mitigation and adaptation programme in the Niger Basin. The programme will support the Basin authority and the riparian states to improve implementation of transboundary Integrated Water Resource Management measures in the Niger Basin. We prepared a guidebook for the management of high-altitude wetlands, as part of the UNDP Secure Himalayas Project, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change in India. This guidebook will be used in the National Mission on Himalayan Studies project in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Sikkim. By engaging key EU decision makers including the Presidency led by Slovenia, we promoted the role of wetlands within the water peace and security nexus. As a result, the Council conclusions on Water in the EU’s external action (Nov. 2021) emphasise the essential role of conserving and restoring aquatic ecosystems, notably wetlands, to foster human development, to protect biological diversity, to reduce water pollution, and to enhance climate action in line with the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Our goal is to catalyse investment to safeguard and restore rivers, lakes and their accompanying wetlands, as part of wider freshwater systems; and to provide water security for people and nature, climate resilience, and sustainable and peaceful landscapes.

By 2030, we aim to safeguard 10 million hectares of high value river and lake wetlands, focusing on five basins.

Rivers & Lakes Healthy wetlands

Significant programmes in major wetland landscapes in target basins and beyond have been set in motion with upscaling plans underway

In the Ziway-Shalla Basin in Ethiopia, we piloted 1,000 ha of landscape restoration and buffer zone establishment to showcase how these measures contribute to improving the health of Lake Ziway. We established transboundary wetlands management committees for the implementation of management plans for the Sango Bay-Minziro (endorsed by governments of Uganda and Tanzania) and Semliki (endorsed by governments of Uganda and DRC) transboundary wetlands as part of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Technical Advisory Committee (NEL-TAC). We completed management plans and started implementation in the Pantanal and the Paraná Delta, improving the productive management and restoration of more than 1.3 million ha of protected wetlands. We completed the management plan for the 380,000 ha Pozuelos UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, including the 7,000 ha Lagoon - a Ramsar site - in close collaboration with Argentinian governmental agencies in charge of site management. We secured an investment by Greenchoice for fire prevention and management in 20,000 ha of a key Pantanal landscape to reduce emissions and achieve community and biodiversity impacts. This project allows us to explore upscaling strategies through carbon finance.

Rivers & Lakes

Resilient wetland communities

By 2030, we aim to safeguard and restore 60 million hectares of wetland as integral elements of productive river and lake landscapes.

We launched a three-year initiative called Source to Sea in East Africa, with key funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. This aims to upscale approaches to combat the drivers of wetland and biodiversity loss in Eastern Africa mangrove and Rift Valley ecoregions. In the Rift Valley this includes a focus on unsustainable agricultural practices, in the Ziway-Shalla (1.5 million ha) and Omo-Gibe-Turkana (14.6 million ha) basins. We set up five micro-catchment committees, endorsed by government in the Agago River catchment, Uganda (60,000 ha). The committees provide local direction and coordination on basin-wide water management to help build resilience to disaster risk. In the Sahel, we piloted and supported the adoption and scaling of innovative agricultural land and water management approaches by communities across 3,500ha

We have made good progress establishing and consoli- dating programmes in major productive landscapes but need to accelerate this process to be able to realise our goal of 60mha.

By 2030, we aim that EUR 500 million is committed to enable Nature-based Solutions in freshwater wetlands, for climate mitigation and adaptation.

Rivers & Lakes

Reduced climate risks

Although good progress is being made, we need to accelerate our progress in our target productive landscapes to be able to make the case to leverage the anticipated target.

Together with Vitens, a large fruit plantation company, the Cagayan de Oro Basin Council, business and upstream communities, we started a Payment for Ecosystem Services

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Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

Wetlands International Annual Review 2021

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