Global Wetland Outlook
STATE AND TRENDS:Ramsar tracks the status and global trends of wetlands.
CHANGE GENERATORS:In wetlands, generators of change can be direct or indirect.
ANSWERS:Respond to multiple challenges.
CONCLUSIONS:Looking at the future.
State of the world’s wetlands and their services to people 2018.
Conservation and wise use of wetlands are vital for human livelihoods. The wide range of ecosystem services wetlands provide means that they lie at the heart of sustainable development. Yet policy and decision-makers often underestimate the value of their benefits to nature and humankind.
Understanding these values and what is happening to wetlands is critical to ensuring their conservation and wise use. The Global Wetland Outlook summarizes wetland extent, trends, drivers of change and the steps needed to maintain or restore their ecological character.
Wetland ecosystem services far exceed those of terrestrial ecosystems. They provide critical food supplies including rice and freshwater and coastal fish, and fresh water, fibre and fuel. Regulating services influence climate and hydrological regimes, and reduce both pollution and disaster risk. Natural features of wetlands often have cultural and spiritual importance. Wetlands offer recreational possibilities and tourism benefits. While some global data on ecosystem services are available, more targeted information is urgently required for national and local decision-makers.
Storage and sequestration of carbon by wetlands play an important role in regulating the global climate. Peatlands and vegetated coastal wetlands are large carbon sinks. Salt marshes sequester millions of tonnes of carbon annually. Despite occupying only 3% of the land surface, peatlands store twice as much carbon as the world’s forests.
The Ramsar Convention
Healthy, natural wetlands are critical for human survival. Yet they face many challenges. The Convention on Wetlands (the Ramsar Convention) is the only international legal treaty primarily focused on wetlands. It works globally to promote their conservation and wise use, ensuring that wetlands play a key role in delivering the Sustainable.
Development Goals, Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and other related commitments. The Global Wetland Outlook outlines the status and trends in wetlands worldwide, along with the challenges and responses.Global Wetland Outlook PDF