“Wetlands for food security: solution or illusion?” - Wetlandsforum.net event during the 2015 Stockholm World Water Week

Event Location: 
Stockholm, Sweden
Start Date: 
23 August 2015
End Date: 
28 August 2015

Wetlands play an important role in achieving several of the suggested Sustainable Development Goals, including those on food security and poverty eradication, ecosystems and biodiversity, water and climate change adaptation. If disconnected, actions taken to achieve one goal can easily conflict with others. As prominent example, increasing attention to food security drives wetland conversions across Africa. But intensification of wetlands agriculture for food production can undermine livelihoods of local communities and diminish important regulating, habitat and cultural ecosystem services.

The event will explore the contradictions evident in management of African wetlands to reconcile different views and the problems of scale, from local livelihoods to regional and international policies. The event was developed in consultation with a highly representative cross-section of professionals working in African wetlands in ministries, local authorities, academia, and NGOs. It will stimulate open discussions based on short 5 minute "elevator pitches" representing different perspectives on drivers of and solutions to pressures on African wetlands. Perspectives will include the role of wetlands for food production, water management, disaster prevention, climate resilience and biodiversity, as well as insights on social tensions and land tenure, and option for inclusive economic valuation balancing short-term benefits and long-term risks.


Benjamin Wielgosz
African Wetlands might benefit from the biodiversity approach that Rainforest Alliance and others have promoted for use in Agro-Forestry. Ecosystem services and a 'conservation' ethic rather than a no-use 'preservation' ethic allow all stakeholders to acknowledge that most landscapes (arguably all) are in some way human landscapes now. By managing the different demands and pressures put on these wetland ecosystems, at least we can take responsibility for the outcomes rather than 'hoping' there will be some way to enforce a pure development or pure environmental protection approach.

Does anyone know if the debate be re-posted as a video for those who missed it?
Kimbowa Richard
Can wetlands, agriculture co-exist in Uganda #EastAfrica?

Wetlands have remained to be seen as reclaimable land for growing crops even in the dry spells, can be a source of water for irrigation and watering animals, but also as a moderator of climate, crop and animal diseases as well as a source of medicine for both humans and domestic animals. This is in light of the Ramsar Convention’s main pillars of wise use, designating and managing more wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites), and international cooperation to which all the five East African countries (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) are signatory. http://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/Farming/Can-wetlands--agriculture-co-...
Kenneth Irvine
Dear Richard. Thanks for sharing the article. A key question, which I am sure continues to generate hot debate, with many different views on the scale, pros and cons of wetlands for agriculture. As the themes of the Stockholm Water week debate. Wetlands for Food Security: Solution or Illusion, we will be posting a report on this soon. A key issue also as we approach an era of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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