WLI priority themes
These pages offer background materials and information on these themes, to be used at wetlands centres wherever they may be.
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An over-arching issue that impacts on all habitats. Wetlands are both affected by climate change, but also play a mitigating role, storing carbon in the form of peat and un-decomposed material. They also provide buffers from severe weather events, absorbing floods and storing water during dry periods.
With increased movement of goods and people around the world, plant and animal species are becoming a problem when they find themselves in a foreign country, without the predators or pests that would normally control their numbers. They can spread particularly rapidly in wetland environments, or travel great distances along streams and coastlines.
Wetlands play a very important role in breeding, feeding and staging sites for many migratory species. Without regular stopping-off points on their route, these migratory bird species come under increasing pressure. Wetland centres can use these seasonal visitors to promote the importance of well-managed wetlands, and make contact with other wetlands that ‘share’ the same species.
This is a central theme for the Ramsar convention on wetlands, and encompasses many ideas such as sustainable livelihoods, ecosystem services, access to local people, and eco-tourism.