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World Wetlands Day 2017

Call for Examples of Local Practices, Methods, and Innovations for Sustainable Wetland Management

Dear friends of Wetland Action,

As you may know, February 2nd is World Wetlands Day. On this day, many groups the world over will run campaigns to raise awareness of the increasingly fragile state of the world’s wetlands.

We would like to use this World Wetlands Day to bring attention to wetland users themselves. In particular we want to focus on those who – in any small or big way – have sought creative or unusual ways to sustainably manage wetlands.

Over the years, friends of Wetland Action have documented and photographed local practices, methods, and innovations that have promoted, for example, efficient water use, soil fertility management, soil conservation, natural vegetation conservation, increased productivity and community organisation. These local practices may lead to a better socio-economic status by promoting solidarity and fairness amongst wetland users as well as the organization of groups for coordinating management of these areas and their catchments.

Our network is renewing its mission to be a disseminator of information related to the sustainable use of wetlands (see “What is Wetland Action?”). To achieve this – in cooperation with you and others all over the world interested in how wetlands contribute to communities and their livelihoods – we seek to compile and share those local solutions, big and small, which have contributed to sustainability for individuals and communities in wetlands and their catchments. Having started from the “grassroots” and not from top-down technology transfer, a local solution has a good chance of being applicable and adoptable elsewhere where similar conditions exist. But what is the best way we can help knowledge of those technologies or practices travel from one wetland community to another?

One way is by collecting those “local solutions” and making them available to everybody who is active in this field. In light of this, we are announcing a “Call for Examples of Local Practices, Methods, and Innovations” that have contributed to sustainable wetland use. For this call, we invite you to send us profiles describing what local solutions you have come across.

If possible please address the following in constructing your profile, but shorter notes are also welcome;

  • Name and affiliation of the reporter(s) (yourself)
  • Date recorded
  • Name of the implementer (local person) and location of the local practice, method, or innovation
  • Background: What conditions brought about the idea? How was it conceived? Why was it needed?
  • The practice itself: What does it look like? Describe or include 1-4 photos or diagrams in your profile. How does it work?
  • Costs: What short-term and long-term costs (monetary, labour, or other) were necessary?
  • Benefits: What short-term and long-term benefits were / are being derived?
  • Opportunity for out-scaling: Has the idea spread? Where or under what conditions would the idea be recommended to be used? Lessons learned?

We are eager to receive your profiles!                                                                                                       Please send them to innovations2017@wetlandaction.org

To see an example of a profile from Tanzania, please visit WetlandAction.org/Steven. Profiles submitted by 31st March will be posted on the webpage after review and highlighted in an April email to friends of Wetland Action. However, submissions are welcome at any time and will be added to our ongoing, open-source “list of practices, methods, and innovations” which will be available online at WetlandAction.org.

Sincerely,

WA team

What is Wetland Action?

Wetland Action is professional network consisting of researchers, sustainable development activists, and others who are working on, or concerned with, the sustainability of wetlands in Africa. Our focus has been on small, seasonal wetlands which are often cultivated during the dry season and contribute greatly – and often disproportionately – to food and livelihood security. The core belief of our network is that people need access to wetlands which provide vital services, and that a balance must be struck between utilization and conservation. We believe this balance has to be sought at the local level, by the communities themselves who are using wetlands. Many of our efforts have been to better understand and to disseminate the methods, technologies, and approaches that lend themselves to a sustainable management of wetlands. It is now more important than ever that our wetlands be well-managed, as climate change, market shocks, and water scarcity render rural communities increasingly vulnerable.