The Source, our Annual Review 2019


We have continued to integrate improved wetland management into socio-economic development, in the Upper Niger / Niger Delta, Upper Sourou sub-basins and increasingly in the Central Rift Valley in Ethiopia. In Mali, we helped ensure that future invest- ments in the Inner Niger Delta and Sourou Basin will be guided by priorities for wetlands that are now anchored in the new national water policy. By working with communities and establishing cooperative groups we have shown that wetland habitat can be restored alongside sustainable fishery management and rehabilitated local scale agricultural in- frastructure. We have successfully transferred this learning into a strategic plan for the res- toration and conservation of biodiversity and natural resources in the Inner Niger Delta. Human conflict continues to play significant role in the region, slowing the roll out of our programmes and the opportunities to scale up. However, regional and global development banks are starting to see wetland restoration as a way of increasing cooperation in and among countries. Blue Lifelines in the Desert Blue Lifelines in the Desert

This chapter presents the achievements realised by Wetlands International in 2019, together with its partners. We have organised these achievements along our five streams of work. As laid-out in our strategic intent 2015-2025 we developed targets that we aim to achieve by 2020. The section below summarises progress towards these targets.

Summary Below we assess our achievements in 2019 in the context of the five-year targets set for the five streams of work that enable us to chart our progress in implementing our strategic intent 2015-2020. As we will focus our action from 2020 on three streams of work (Deltas and Coasts, Rivers and Lakes, and Peatlands) our assessment at the end of this strategy period comprises results over five years of action. Achievements described are the result of our entire network working in collaboration with many other partners, locally and internationally. We focus on those achieve- ments for which the Wetlands International’s contribution was instrumental. In summary, there was significant progress in all streams towards the targets in 2019 and over the five-years since January 2015. We are on track to achieve or exceed our ambitions in nearly half of the targets. In the others sub- stantial progress has been made but more time is required to fully achieve the targets. Some of the stand-out achievements are seen in action to conserve or restore iconic wetlands for biodiversity, while bringing benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation and community livelihoods. While this is the case across all streams, most notable are the wetland priorities of the Inner Niger Delta being included in the Mali water policy and strategic plan for natural resources, restoring peat- lands in the Puna region of the High Andes, establishing a Ganges-wide floodplain restoration programme in India, and supporting the establishment of the Yellow Sea World Natural Heritage site in China.

There were key achievements that result from building co- operation with economic sectors and applying innovative wetland management techniques and financing mech - anisms that integrate wetland values into the economy. These include the mainstreaming of Building with Nature in Indonesia as a national priority in tackling acute coastal erosion and the multi-country interest in taking this ap- proach to the Asian scale, the payment for ecosystem ser- vices agreement secured in the Philippines, the inclusion of paludiculture (agriculture on wet peatland) as a support- ed land use in the Common agricultural policy of the Euro- pean Union, the launch of a water fund in the Sebou Basin in Morocco, and engaging a wide network of private sector actors to promote new commercial crops for re-wetted peatlands in Southeast Asia. Of course not everything went according to plan. Rising so- cial conflicts have held us back from field work, for exam - ple, in the Sahel. In our efforts to change damaging practic - es in Southeast Asian peatlands, we enabled positive steps in terms of the uptake of wise hydrological management of palm oil plantations on peatland, but were met with op- position from the pulp and paper industry on the roadmap for withdrawal from peatland cropping. We also suffered unexpected delays in obtaining government approval for new projects in several countries. Scaling-up our successes remains an overall challenge for the organisation that we plan to tackle systematically, di- rected by our new strategic Intent 2020-2030


On track to exceed target (we will achieve the target before 2020)

We expect to achieve the target by 2020

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

So far, there is no significant overall progress

Improved status of at least 3 major wetland systems in the Sahel, as part of efforts to achieve sustainable and climate resilient development.

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



Wetlands Annual Review 2019

Wetlands Annual Review 2019

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