The authors of this article note that prior agreements to halt wetland degradation, such as the Ramsar Convention of 1971, have been largely unsuccessful. They advocate for both a re-emphasis on how wetlands help mitigate climate change, and how to protect existing wetlands from the damaging effects of climate change. They had previously authored the Second Warning to Humanity and Wetlands, which urged the Society for Wetland Scientists (SS) and other organizations to raise the profile of wetlands. Doing so can lead to policy changes which would attenuate the deleterious actions that humans currently apply to wetlands.
The authors then provide 11 recommendations for preserving and renewing wetlands. These recommendations include halting the conversion of wetlands to other land uses, rewilding wetlands with native species, and reducing the wastage of wetland-derived foods. Other recommendations are increasing wetland education, adopting renewable energy sources that don’t impact wetlands, prioritizing the enactment of connected, well-funded and well-managed networks of protected wetland areas, and supporting ecologically sound financial investments.
Finlayson, C.M., Gillian T. Davies, William R. Moomaw, et al., 2018, The Second Warning to Humanity – Providing a Context for Wetland Management and Policy, Wetlands, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13157-018-1064-z.