[LINK] An Introduction to the Convention on Wetlands

[LINK] An Introduction to the Convention on Wetlands

ramsarThe Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) is an inter-governmental treaty whose mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”. As of January 2016, 169 nations have joined the Convention as Contracting Parties, and more than 2,220 wetlands around the world, covering over 214 million hectares, have been designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

Download the Ramsar Handbook, An Introduction to the Convention on Wetlands

[LINK] Why conservationists need a little hope: saving themselves from becoming the most depressing scientists on the planet

[LINK] Why conservationists need a little hope: saving themselves from becoming the most depressing scientists on the planet

By Jeremy Hance, Mongabaylaos_1909

Here’s a challenge: take a conservationist out for a drink and ask them about their work. Nine times out of ten—or possibly more—you’ll walk away feeling frustrated, despondent, and utterly hopeless. You’ll hear about rainforests being chopped down for palm oil or chopsticks; or a just-discovered species that probably just went extinct; or a government that is worse than ambivalent: corrupt; or a shadowy corporation that’s doing some horrific thing to ecosystems and local people just to make greedy shareholders happy. If the talk goes broader—and more drinks are bought (you should probably pay: conservationists don’t make much)—you’ll probably hear about the globally rising temperatures and melting glaciers; how the oceans are practically empty and acidifying; how primary forests are mostly gone; how the human population just doesn’t stop growing; and how the bulk of the world’s species will likely be extinct in a couple hundred years anyway.

Read more here.

[LINK] Stop blame game, start working, experts say

[LINK] Stop blame game, start working, experts say

By Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Postfire

As the number of hot spots in forest areas is increasing, relevant parties — government, companies and smallholders — have to stop playing the blame game and focus on how to extinguish fires before they spread to other areas and become uncontrollable, experts say.

Susan Page, a professor at the University of Leicester in the UK, said that under such circumstances, close cooperation on the part of all parties was needed to prevent fires from spreading.

Read more here.

[LINK] Prevention is better than cure: Managing habitats now to stop forest fires in the future

[LINK] Prevention is better than cure: Managing habitats now to stop forest fires in the future

In undisturbed conditions, peat-swamp forests are fire resistant. Even during the dry season the ground will remain wet. These forests can be inaccessible and challenging for people as it is very hard to walk through the swampy environment. This is why in the 1990s illegal loggers dug canals in the peat swamps of Sabangau to gain easier access into the forest and extract timber.

Canals in the forest are like small rivers, but with devastating consequences. All the water that’s lost through these canals drains the forest making the habitat very dry. This is particularly dangerous in the annual dry season and even more so during the years that are affected by the El Niño phenomenon, which causes hotter and drier conditions.

Read more here.

[LINK] Closer collaboration needed for a sustainable peatland economy

[LINK] Closer collaboration needed for a sustainable peatland economy

Sago palms being grown by the water in Central Maluku District, Indonesia. Wetland agriculture, or paludiculture, is a practice which can provide lucrative livelihoods to peatland communities while avoiding the need to drain and burn peatland for palm oil or paper crops. Image: CIFOR, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Sago palms being grown by the water in Central Maluku District, Indonesia. Wetland agriculture, or paludiculture, is a practice which can provide lucrative livelihoods to peatland communities while avoiding the need to drain and burn peatland for palm oil or paper crops. Image: CIFOR, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Chris Cheng, Eco-Business

Must peatland be drained for palm oil or acacia plantations out of economic necessity? Oscar M Lopez for Climate Change Climate Envoy Chris Cheng shares how wetland agriculture, or paludiculture, is a far more sustainable and lucrative alternative.

Read more here.