TEEB Report Highlights the Ecosystem Services Provided by Wetlands

1 February 13: The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners have launched the report "The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Water and Wetlands." The report urges a major shift in attitudes towards wetlands, to recognize their value in delivering water, raw materials and food, as well as their role in maintaining people's livelihoods and the sustainability of the world's economies.

The report was released in preparation for World Wetlands Day (WWD), which focuses this year on wetlands and water management. This year's WWD aims to highlight the importance of conserving and enhancing the ecosystem services provided by water and wetlands.

The report outlines critical water-related ecosystem services with a view to encouraging additional policy momentum, business commitment, and investment in the conservation, restoration, and wise use of wetlands. The key messages of the report include that: the water, food and energy nexus is one of the fundamental relationships and challenges for society; water security is a major and increasing concern and wetlands provide a solution to this challenge; water cycles are strongly dependent on wetlands; wetlands play a key role in the water, carbon and nutrient cycles, but policies do not sufficiently take into account these interconnections; wetlands support climate change mitigation and adaption, health, livelihoods, local development and poverty eradication; wetland maintenance and restoration is often more cost efficient than man-made infrastructure solutions; and wetlands have been, and continue to be, lost or degraded, despite their economic value.

The report was launched by the Ramsar Secretariat, UNEP, the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Wetlands International and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), with the support of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Geneva Environment Network (GEN) Secretariat. [World Wetlands Day Website] [IISD RS Story on World Wetlands Day] [Ramsar Press Release on the TEEB Report on Water and Wetlands] [IUCN Press Release] [Publication: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands] [Publication: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands - Executive Summary] [TEEB Website]