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Climate-smart agriculture to protect wetlands

World Wetlands Day celebrates one of the planet’s most valuable environmental assets.

February 2, 2015

Today, February 2, is World Wetlands Day, celebrating one of the planet’s most valuable environmental assets.

Everglades National Park cypress300These precious natural resources, which include mangroves, swamps, marshes, rivers, lakes, floodplains and rice fields, provide a range of essential ecosystem services, yet some 64% have been lost since 1900.  

CTA is contributing to wetlands conservation through its work on climate-smart agriculture (CSA). One of its projects Promoting practices and policies for increasing productivity and resilience of agriculture to climate change is seeking to help ACP farmers to become more resilient and increase productivity under changing climate conditions, while also contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.  

“With decreasing and erratic rainfall occasioned by climate change, food production and security will be negatively impacted in ACP regions,” said Oluyede Ajayi, CTA’s Senior Programme Coordinator and lead on Climate Change. “In the quest to produce food, ACP farmers may be increasingly tempted to encroach on wetlands for water and food production, potentially compromising the biodiversity and conservation that wetlands provide. Climate smart agriculture practices that help farmers to produce food under a changing climate will contribute to reducing this push.”

Marcel Silvius, who manages the climate programme of global NGO Wetlands International, says that CSA can help to protect wetlands’ important role in supporting agriculture.  

“Wetlands represent the world’s most productive areas. Climate smart land use and conservation of wetlands is crucial to ensure that wetland carbon stores are maintained – thus mitigating climate change – and that their water retention, storage and supply functions are kept at optimal levels,” he said. “This will also ensure that wetland productivity is maintained and that wetlands can continue to play their key role in supporting biodiversity.”

Learn more about CTA's publications on climate-smart agriculture: