The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) has released a briefing note, titled ‘Towards the wise use of urban and peri-urban wetlands,’ which expands on the ‘Principles for the planning and management of urban and peri-urban wetlands’ agreed by the contracting parties and aimed at helping managers and planners of towns and cities ensure the wise use of wetlands.
The briefing note, authored by Robert McInnes, Society of Wetland Scientists and representative to the Ramsar Convention’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), is based on the recognition that unsustainable urbanization continues to drive wetland loss and degradation in some parts of the world. It stresses that, increasingly, efforts to make towns and cities more sustainable recognize wetlands as essential natural infrastructure that can deliver various benefits. The briefing note provides further guidance on how to deliver the dual goals of wise use of wetlands and sustainable urbanization.
Key messages in the briefing note include that: benefits that wetlands deliver underpin human well-being in towns and cities; society can shape the evolution of towns and cities by integrating the principles of wetland wise use into planning and management decision making; wetlands can mitigate risks from a changing climate, support food production and generate income through tourism and recreation; and the benefits provided by wetlands should be recognized.