Lack of knowledge and awareness
Policy and decision makers often lack knowledge (awareness) of the interconnection between functioning ecosystems and people’s livelihoods, or between environmental degradation and poverty.
Regrettably wetlands are often seen as areas of little or no value. They are considered 'wastelands', that are available for development or exploitation rather than a resource that, if managed properly, will make a significant contribution to ecosystem and human health.
As a result, despite intentions to the contrary, wetlands are frequently improperly managed. Leading to the destruction of environmental services and products, and a subsequent escalation in poverty among those whose livelihoods are reliant on such products and services. Such mismanagement increases the vulnerability of the less wealthy, and leading to a further cyclical decline in opportunities for both enivornment (nature), and people.
More than one third of the US threatened species live in wetlands.
Wetlands are some of the most biologically productive natural ecosystems in the world.
Wetlands have important filtering capabilities.
Water storage is one of the important abilities of wetlands.
Wetlands function as natural sponges that trap and slowly release water.
The ability of wetlands to control erosion is very valuable.
We use a wealth of natural products from wetlands and use them for recreation.
Wetlands suffer from global warming. Former wet areas become drier, the glaciers feeding wetlands with a constant stream of water are disappearing, and frozen wetlands in Siberia are melting. Global warming is also fastened by wetland destruction. Peat-wetlands store more greenhouse gasses than the entire atmosphere. These processes will have a disrupting effect on the life of millions, because they are causing floods and shortages of water.