The Source, our Annual Review 2019

Without the power of the Pantanal to hold back water, the result could be massive flooding downstream


export soy and other grains, iron ore, gypsum, timber and agricultural products from the heart of the continent. The scheme was formally revived in 2019. Wetland International’s Argentine director Daniel Blanco says that Hidrovia is a “big threat” to the Corredor Azul’s wetlands. River widening at two critical points in the Pan- tanal could drain substantial parts of the wetland. Without the huge regulatory power of the Pantanal to hold back water, the result could be massive flooding downstream, including in the delta. But, he says, “it is not the intention of the Corredor Azul programme to stop Hidrovia, but rather to influence the initiative to reduce its impacts, and maintain the natural hy- drological connectivity of the rivers and their floodplains.” Wetlands, he says, “should be part of the equation when planning and designing a big infrastructure initiative like Hidrovia.” And we will be there every step of the way, ad- vocating for what Blanco calls “a more integral vision” that recognises the importance of wetlands.

Who is Keizrul Abdullah? My name is Keizrul Abdullah. I am Chairperson of the Council (Board of Directors) in Malaysia. I have been associated with Wetlands International since 2004. Presently in Malaysia we are working on two different areas concerning wetlands. One is Building with Nature (BwN) to restore wetlands, and the other is the introduction of constructed wetlands in two townships here. Building with Nature represents an innovative approach to protect the coast against erosion and floods, it works with and alongside the dynamics of nature. The constructed wetlands in the two townships will function as retention ponds against floods as well as improve the wetlands ecosystem. This way we keep people safe and bring nature back to the urban concrete jungle.

developing pilots in five Asian countries. This workshop was a key moment in the process.

What is the nicest thing about working at Wetlands International?

I am a water engineer by training, and in my career I worked on water and environmental engineering issues, mainly in the planning, development and management of irrigation, drainage, river, floods and coastal projects . My job was to improve the water system from a technical point of view. With Wetlands International, I am able to broaden my outlook to the bigger landscape view and to include nature and the ecosystem into the process. This way we can not only help keep people safe from water stresses and disasters, but also bring them closer to nature. What do you want to achieve in 2020? Despite all the challenges we have during the current COVID-19 crisis, I hope we can finalise the constructed wetlands for the two townships. The first one should be operational this year. But construction activities has stopped for now, due to the virus. When the construction is finished, we can do a baseline study on biodiversity and keep track of the development over the coming years. For BwN I hope we can apply the lessons learned on a pilot project.

Partners Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM)

What was your biggest personal work achievement in 2019?

Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)

In July 2019, I participated in an expert workshop on Building with Nature organised by Wetlands International with the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA). We got eight Asian countries involved, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, China, India, Singapore. It brought people together who did not know anything on BwN. The participants of the workshop resolved to introduce the BwN concept in their home countries. Now we are

INTA Paraná (National Institute of Agricultural Technology)

Donor DOB Ecology

For the entire list see Annex



Wetlands Annual Review 2019

Wetlands Annual Review 2019

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online