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The 2010 Biodiversity target and the status of Inland Water Ecosystems

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Title: The 2010 Biodiversity target and the status of Inland Water Ecosystems


1
The 2010 Biodiversity target and the status of
Inland Water Ecosystems
Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 Launch
2
Ramsar wetland type classification
  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
  • addresses all wetlands - from the mountains to
    the sea
  • Inland Wetlands
  • Human-made wetlands
  • Marine/Coastal Wetlands

3
Scope of Inland waters
  • Inland waters include rivers, lakes, floodplains,
    including flooded forests, Freshwater springs
  • (oases), fishponds, marshes, swamps, peatlands,
    inland deltas, and inland saline systems.
    Geothermal wetlands, Karst and other subterranean
    hydrological systems, Irrigated land Water
    storage areas such as (reservoirs/barrages/dams/im
    poundments, Wastewater treatment areas.

4
UNEP GEO-4 and water
  • MAs stark messages reinforced by GEO-4
  • c 70 available water is already taken by
    irrigation
  • Meeting MDG on hunger will mean doubling food
    production by 2050
  • Freshwater is declining
  • but by 2025 water use predicted to rise by 50 in
    developing countries 18 in developed world
  • The escalating burden of water demand will
    become intolerable in water-scarce countries

5
Inland-water dependent species riskR
  • wetlands, both coastal and inland, and the many
    species depending upon them, continue to be in
    particularly serious decline threatening their
    capacity to provide their huge range of benefits
    to people, and threatening the health and
    livelihoods of communities dependent on them

6
Inland-water dependent species at risk
  • Plants 2,614
  • Insects gt125,000
  • Molluscs gt5,000
  • Crustaceans gt14,000
  • Fishes gt15,000
  • Reptiles 500
  • Amphibians 3,908
  • Waterbirds 868
  • Mammals.135

7
Wetlands biodiversity trends shorebird
populations
population status index 4x faster rate of
decline in recent years compared with the rate of
decline between the 1980s and 1990s BUT status
of Globally-threatened populations improving
conservation action
8
Shorebird population trends flyway status in
2000s
Migratory populations
Endemic populations
9
Fisheries
  • Overexploitation of fisheries
  • inland fisheries is the capture
  • of wild stocks of primarily freshwater fish,
    including migratory species that move between
    fresh water and the oceans.

10
Decline of Fisheries
  • According to FAO, although global production of
    fish and fishery products continues to grow,
  • the harvest from capture fisheries has stagnated
    over the last decade.
  • Today numerous fish stocks and species have
    declined since their historical peaks, and some
    have even collapsed, leading to urgent
  • calls for more stringent management and the
    establishment of protected areas

11
Overfishing of Inland waters
  • Most discussion of the current fisheries crisis
    has focused nearly exclusively on marine
    resources, and to some extent on associated
    threats to marine biodiversity, particularly
    those affecting charismatic animals such as
    seabirds, marine turtles
  • The fisheries of inland waters have received
    only slight consideration within global analyses
  • overfishing in inland waters is occurring and is
    a contributing factor to the decline of
    freshwater
  • biodiversity.

12
View of Fishery experts
  • Inland fisheries provide much-needed protein,
    jobs, and income, especially in poor rural
    communities of developing countries.
  • Systematic overfishing of fresh waters is largely
    unrecognized because of weak reporting and
    because fishery declines take place within a
    complex of other pressures.

13
View of Fishery experts
  • consequences of changes to the species, size, and
    trophic composition of fish assemblages are
    poorly understood.
  • These complexities underlie the paradox that
    overexploitation of a fishery may not be marked
    by declines in total yield, even when individual
    species and long-term sustainability are highly
    threatened.
  •  

14
View of Fishery experts
  • In inland waters, most fisheries are small-scale
    activities where the catch per capita is
    relatively small and used mainly for subsistence
    purposes. The lack of accurate reporting of these
    small-scale fisheries makes it difficult to
    describe their status but it is generally felt
    that they are under considerable pressure from
    loss and degradation of habitat and overfishing.

15
View of Fishery experts
  • One of the symptoms of intense fishing in inland
    waters is the collapse of particular stocks even
    as overall fish
  • production risesa biodiversity crisis more than
    a fisheries crisis.
  •  

16
Change in wetland extent - mangroves
  • Few global assessments for wetlands
  • Earth Observation (remote sensing) may help soon
  • FAO mangrove area 1980-2005
  • Progressive continuing area loss
  • Rate of loss slower in 2000-2005 than previously
  • Except Asia increased rate of loss

17
We know whats driving wetland ecosystem loss
Land-use change impacts
Water regulation impacts
Threats to Ramsar sites
Agricultural impacts
18
  • MOST OF US AGREE.
  • Climate Change IS happening
  • It will likely get worse
  • Human behaviour is partly to blame
  • Wetlands will be affected some impacts

19
Carbon storage in wetlands (and other ecosystems)
  • In their overall global area, some (intact)
    ecosystems major carbon stores

20
Securing sustainable water wetlands where
are we now?
  • We know what we need to do
  • Maintain wetland and other ecosystems for their
    key water other services, and
  • Restore degraded wetlands to reinstate their key
    services to people
  • We (think we) know how to do it
  • Much knowledge and work on environmental water
    requirements and restoring degraded ecosystems
    etc.
  • Governmental and intergovernmental (Ramsar etc)
    processes to support responses

21
The way forwards?
  • Since conserving (and restoring) wetlands is
    essential for maintaining their services for
    human well-being and poverty reduction
  • Water resources management and spatial planning
    schemes need to be based on an integrated
    ecosystem-based approach landscape basin
    scales
  • But is Integrated water resource/river basin
    management really yet integrated across sectors??

22
Integrating water wetlands management where
are we now?
  • Ramsar STRPs recent RBM case study review
    findings
  • Progress in integrating wetlands into land
    water resources planning and management at basin
    scale has been
  • Slow
  • Successes hard-won over long periods
  • Mostly in smaller basins
  • Often needs incentive of (wetland) ecosystem
    collapse to generate collaborative planning
    management
  • Suite of generic obstacles challenges
  • but numerous creative local solutions

23
The way forwards?
  • Better encouragement and empowerment to local
    people and communities to value and maintain
    their healthy wetlands for water
  • More high level understanding and commitment, to
    secure and implement new forms of water and
    land-use governance
  • But changing deeply embedded governance
    approaches after so long being largely
    demand-driven is a major challenge

24
Securing wise use of water wetlands
  • Some promising responses??
  • Securing environmental water allocations (EWA)
  • payments for ecosystem water
  • establishing legislative frameworks
  • introducing caps on water allocations
  • purchasing water rights etc.
  • Attractive but really just fixes?
  • Even with agreed EWA, ecosystems (wetlands)
    still the loser when water scarce for direct use
    by people
  • Water laws still often adversarial - ecosystems
    must demonstrate and justify their needs
    against other demands
  • And inflexible for responding to a rapidly
    changing water climate

25
Securing sustainable water wetlands
  • So are we digging ourselves into an ever deeper
    (and drier) hole by promoting these approaches as
    solutions, rather than at best interim steps?
  • When we continue to allocate much more water than
    is available, from many basins
  • and without enabling changes to water governance
  • Shift the paradigm
  • From wetlands (ecosystems) as competing users of
    water
  • to maintaining and wisely using wetlands as our
    vital natural water infrastructure

26
Changwon Declaration
  • Powerful key messages for decision-makers
    managing other sectors (2not the
    biodiversity-converted)
  • Water
  • Climate change
  • Human health
  • Energy
  • Spatial (land-use) planning
  • etc

27
The Changwon Declaration Key Messages Water
and wetlands
  • There is an urgent need to change water
    governance
  • Continuing with business as usual is no longer
    an option
  • Our increasing demand for, and over-use of, water
    jeopardizes both human well-being and the
    environment
  • There is often not enough water to meet our
    direct human needs and to maintain the wetlands
    we need
  • Climate change is increasing uncertainty in water
    management and making it more difficult to close
    the gap between water demand and supply

28
The Changwon Declaration Key Messages Water
and wetlands
  • To close this water gap, we need to
  • use our available water more efficiently
  • stop our wetlands from becoming degraded or lost
  • wisely manage our wetlands wetlands are the
    major source of water we have

29
MEAs ... response?... or cause?
Ramsar Convention, CITES, CMS
Rio Conventions- CBD, UNFCCC, UNCCD
30
www.ramsar.org
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