Side event details

Unpacking the potential of wetlands for addressing climate change and biodiversity loss
Day and time
08.11.2022 13:15
Lead organization
Partner organization(s)
Geneva Environment Network, ICLEI Europe


Wetlands play a critical role in tackling the multiple crises we face today. From marches to marine-coastal ecosystems, wetlands act as effective carbon storage units, maintain hydrological regimes and increase communities’ resilience and response to the impacts of climate change. Wetlands are a network of biological hotspots, hosting a variety of all life forms including plants, animals and microorganisms. Adaptation to the impacts of climate change and halting and reversing biodiversity loss cannot be achieved without ending wetland loss, restoring former or degraded wetlands, and stopping the rapidly increasing stress on the remaining ones.

By integrating the conservation of nature and societal challenges, Nature-based Solutions have the capacity to offer transformative pathways to achieve sustainability. Healthy, functioning wetlands provide ecosystem services with economic, social, and health values for societies. To ensure the implementation of new protection and restoration laws and regulations in place, policy instruments are to be coupled with scientific data. Identifying robust and evidence-informed strategies for wise use of wetlands calls for a common understanding and exchange among specialists and decision-makers on possibilities, opportunities and challenges.

This event enhances the knowledge of ways Nature-based Solutions in the context of wetlands can offer for mitigating and adapting to climate change, protecting biodiversity and delivering ecosystem services on a global scale. This exchange will enable policymakers and practitioners to integrate and utilize wetlands into their commitments to achieve sustainable development goals and support countries in reaching climate and biodiversity targets.

This event is co-organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Geneva Environment Network, with the support of NetworkNature and the European Commission.

Session objectives:

  • Highlighting the current policies and regulations for the protection and restoration of wetlands;
  • Promoting the importance of wetlands as Nature-based Solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation and addressing declining biodiversity;
  • Highlighting the potential of Nature-based Solutions for protection, restoration and wise use of wetlands;
  • Exchanging knowledge and experience on recent developments and wetland-related technologies;
  • Improving common understanding of challenges and opportunities on wetland-based solutions;
  • Creating synergies among a wide range of stakeholders at the global level.

Welcome by Moderator (5 mins)

  • Dr James Dalton - Head, Water & Land Management, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Interventions: Policies and regulations (10 mins)

  • Ms Sonja Koppel - Secretary of the Water Convention, UNECE
  • Mr Jakub Wejchert - Senior policy officer, DG Environment, European Commission

Interventions: Experiences and solutions (15 mins)

  • Prof Jeremy Biggs - CEO, Freshwater Habitats Trust | Visiting Professor, Oxford Brookes University | Project Partner, PONDERFUL
  • Mr Arnaud Terrisse - Project Officer, Plan Bleu | Project Partner, WaterLANDs
  • Dr Alessio Satta - Coordinator, MedWet | Project Partner, REST-COAST

Discussions and questions from the floor (28 mins)

Conclusion & Closing remarks (2 mins)