Durban, South Africa - Wetlands International will be present at the upcoming climate talks in Durban (28 November – 9 December). This global NGO will show the important role that wetlands can play to adapt to climate change, with specific attention for wetlands in the dry and vulnerable parts of Africa. Wetlands International also continues its call for incentives to conserve and restore carbon-rich wetlands peat soils under a new climate treaty.
In Durban, country delegations will negotiate next steps towards a new climate agreement. One of the big questions is if the Kyoto Protocol will continue to exist to ensure binding agreements on the reduction of emissions. Another major issue is how vulnerable countries will be supported to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Wetlands International works in Africa on sustainable management of wetlands and water resources, in order to mitigate water-related extreme weather events.
Especially in the dryer parts of Africa, a rise in temperature or change in rainfall will have devastating impacts on water availability. Wetlands are crucial in regulating such extremes in water availability.
During several events at the Durban summit, Wetlands International will showcase the importance of wetland areas for climate change adaptation in countries such as Mali, Senegal, Kenya and Uganda. (Photo: Lake Naivasha)
Reduce emissions from organic peat soils
Wetlands International hopes that in Durban incentives will be agreed upon to reduce the massive emissions from organic peat soils in developing countries under REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) and in developed countries under a follow up of the Kyoto Protocol.
Drained peat soils (for forestry plantations, agriculture or mining) occur on a mere 0,3 percent of the global land surface, but are responsible for some 6 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. There is enormous mitigation potential for countries in Southeast Asia and Europe. Africa also stores 11 billion tonnes of carbon in peatlands – an amount equal to the total annual carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
Countries such as Uganda, Sudan, Zambia and Tanzania have considerable stocks of carbon stored in their peat swamp wetlands. The creation of an incentive programme under UNFCCC could keep these organic carbon stocks safely stored. (Photo: drained peatland for oil palm plantation in Indonesia)
Follow us in Durban:
Wetlands International will be present in Durban from 28 November to 9 December. You can follow us via:
our website on Durban: www.wetlands.org/durban
You can also contact Susanna Tol who will be in Durban at: firstname.lastname@example.org | tel: +31 622624702
Pape Diomaye THIARE
Communications and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Phone: +221 33 869 16 81