WWF calls for collaborative efforts to protect wetlands

Wetlands And Ramsar Sites
Wetlands And Ramsar Sites

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) office in Zambia on Sunday said collaboration in protecting wetlands was vital as they were critical in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

“They (wetlands) are seen as the foundation for a water-resilient future. Connected floodplains and healthy wetlands can reduce the impact of extreme floods and build resilience to ever-increasing droughts. Freshwater systems must be maintained in pristine conditions all the time,” said Nachilala Nkombo, the WWF Zambia Country director, in a statement.

She said water has been one of the most threatened natural resources in the wake of climate change, adding that concerted efforts in mitigating the adverse effects were the best option for every country, including Zambia.

According to her, the Freshwater Challenge, the world’s largest initiative aimed at restoring degraded rivers, lakes and wetlands to protect vital freshwater ecosystems, provides an opportunity for countries to collaborate and develop nature-based solutions to address the risks wetlands face globally.

It was encouraging to see countries coming on board for a great cause, especially at a time when climate change effects were more aggressive than ever before, said Nkombo, commending Zambia for being among the first six countries to jump on board and take up the challenge to push the global agenda on the local front to restore and protect wetlands.

She noted that to ensure the success of the initiative in Zambia, the WWF has been a driving force by leading the way in identifying wetlands in urgent need of restoration and protection.

According to the statement, the initiative is part of the Water Action Agenda and focuses on leveraging the support needed to conserve the intact fresh ecosystems and bring 300,000 km of rivers and 350 million hectares of wetlands under restoration by 2030. It added that the initiative has been chosen as one of the water outcomes at the COP28 which has also seen an additional 15 countries declaring interest in joining the initiative. COP28, or the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is being held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.

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