Act now for wetlands, act now for the 2030 Agenda.

wetlands international logoNew York – 20 April 2016 –  At the High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) NGO Wetlands International states that better management and restoration of wetlands is an essential strategy to meet at least seven out of the seventeen Development Goals that were adopted in September 2015. The SDGs, Paris agreement, and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which all concluded last year, are potentially triggers for increased investment in improving the status and condition of wetlands, which are the fastest declining ecosystems in the world.

In 2015, world leaders committed to achieving the 17 goals of the United National 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs). Now it’s time to act. 7 of the goals impact on and are affected by wetlands – ecosystems where water meets land, such as peatlands, marshes, rivers, lakes, deltas, coasts, and mangroves.


Wetlands provide a wide range of benefits: they purify and store water, provide food and fish, support abundant biodiversity, drive local economies, protect our shores and are the Earth’s greatest natural carbon stores.

Investing in wetlands is a wise choice for governments, as well as the private sector and financial institutions, to achieve the SDG commitments. Without wetland investments, the SDGs will not be achieved.

View Wetlands International’s interactive infographic showing the links the between the SDGs, wetlands and the innovative approaches Wetlands International works with:

Since 1900 the world has lost 64% of its wetlands through drainage and conversion and much of those that remain are under growing pressure by economic and infrastructure development that has failed to value their role.

Wetlands community advocates the need to safeguard and restore wetlands to reduce CO2 emissions, protect cities and shores, maintain biodiversity, combat desertification, and provide clean water and food; all issues that are included in the SDGs.

MedWet logotipo-original-colorThe MedWet Framework for Action has been designed as an early contribution to helping countries to achieve some of the Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations in September 2015. It is expected that with an active engagement of the Mediterranean countries and the donor community, by 2030 well-managed wetlands will have made a significant contribution to the well-being of people in the region and to the effective functioning of the natural systems, especially the water and climate cycles, which are essential for sound socio-economic development.


More information

Act now on wetlands for Agenda 2030’: this policy brief sets out the link between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the conservation and restoration of wetlands.

All major global policy agreements conclude: wetlands are vital ecosystems in the landscape and are indispensable to achieve a sustainable and secure world. This policy brief sets out the link between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and, in particular, the Goals on Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, and Life on Land – and the conservation and restoration of wetlands. It also includes recommended approaches for implementation of the SDGs and a series of case studies showing the innovative approaches we use to transform the world.



Susanna Tol, +31 318 8660932,