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Aichi Targets


Side Event

Water, Wetlands and Aichi targets

Wetlands International - South Asia

Date and Time
9 October 2012 13:15 - 14:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

Wetlands, inland as well as coastal, provide a range of ecosystem services to support human well-being , yet are one of the most rapidly degrading ecosystems. Fragmentation of hydrological regimes and ineffective integration in water management planning and decision making are one of the major drivers of degradation and loss of wetlands, their ecosystem services and biodiversity. The CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity targets provide a significant opportunity for making tangible progress towards conserving wetlands and their biodiversity. Target 11 (seeking conservation of at least 17% of terrestrial inland water areas and 10 % of coastal and marine areas) , target 14 ( conservation of ecosystems proving essential services including services related to water), and target 6 (all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants) make direct references to wetlands while several others ( eg Target 8 related to pollution, Target 9 related to invasive alien species) refer to management of direct and indirect drivers of their degradation. However, achieving these targets would require adoption of integrated approaches to water management building on the linkages between hydrology, biodiversity, ecosystem processes and sustainable development. Currently, most of the recommended actions related to water-biodiversity linkages are spread across several thematic areas preventing adoption of a coherent consolidated approach. India has played an important role in ensuring recognition to role of integrated water resources management in securing biodiversity conservation and sustained provision of ecosystem services. It was one of the leading nations to raise the profile of water in The Strategic Goals and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets during the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of Parties held at Nagoya, Japan and at subsequent SBSTTA meetings. Notably, India also introduced the resolution Integration of Wetlands in River Basin Management during the 7th Conference of Parties Meeting of the Convention on Wetlands held at Costa Rica. The emphasis of the government is reflected through the National Mangroves and Coral Reefs; National Lake Conservation Programme; National Wetlands Programme and introduction of regulations on wetland (2010) and coastal zone management (revised in 2011). The restoration of Chilika Lake in 2000 was recognized with a Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award and Evian Special Prize at the 8th meeting of the Ramsar Convention, the first ever awarded to an Asian country. Building on the leadership shown by Government of India on water-biodiversity issues and the opportunity of being the host country, the side event aims at enhancing recognition of integrated water management as a means of acheing conservation of inland waters and meeting the related targets under the CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020. Specifically the side event aims at: a) Showcasing the efforts made in integrated water management for conservation of inland and coastal wetland systems b) Highlighting success stories and challenges in integrating water resources management in wetland conservation c) Providing specific recommendations for a holistic approach to water resources in the context of conservation of inland and coastal wetland ecosystems and biodiversity The side event designed for 90 mins would include a set of short presentations followed by plenary discussion. The following structure is proposed: a) Introductory Remarks (Special Secretary, Government of India) b) Key note presentation on “water, wetlands and Aichi targets” c) Indian experiences on wetland conservation d) Case studies of successful wetland restoration highlighting the success factors and challenges e) Panel discussion f) Conclusion