Global warming and lack of knowledge

Earth Platform > Nature > Land > Wetlands > Problems

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.
This is partially because the global biodiversity value of wetland areas is often not expressed in economic terms or social benefits. Another reason is that the large-scale development plans are often driven by one sector (e.g. water and sanitation, hydro-electrical or transportation). But the  wetlands are multi-functional ecosystems that can serve a great variety of sectors and stakeholders, if approached in a multi-sectored manner.

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 about:

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.

Climate change

WetlandWetlands 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.