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A pilot wintering waterbird indicator for the European Union

This report presents a set of indicators showing the status of waterbirds, considering their special importance in the context of the EU Birds Directive, and the effectiveness of other EU policies designed to maintain their habitats in good ecological status, such as the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Composite indices for waterbirds show an overall positive trend for waterbirds, though marine specialist species generally have a less favourable trend than coastal or freshwater specialist species,

This report has been prepared by Wetlands International European Association, using data from the International Waterbird Census, one of the largest and oldest citizen science biodiversity monitoring schemes in Europe. This long-term dataset provides a particularly good basis to assess the effectiveness of the EU Birds Directive and other EU policies for the conservation of waterbirds that winter in significant numbers in the European Union.

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Towards sustainable management of huntable migratory waterbirds in Europe

This report presents the case for adopting the principles of adaptive harvest management framework for waterbird populations in the EU, and even at the flyway scale. The information requirements for such a plan are explored in detail, with a number of supporting case studies provided. This report has been prepared by by the Waterbird Harvest Specialist Group of Wetlands International.

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The challenge of restoring rivers - short version

Short video produced by Wetlands International - European Association and the Iberian Centre for River Restoration (CIREF) to illustrate the need for river restoration, the benefits it brings and the necessary factors for its success.

This video is also available in Spanish and Portuguese.

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Micro-projects to Strengthen Community Resilience

To build the resilience of 23 communities with a high disaster risk rating, the Partners for Resilience (PfR) run micro projects, applying the integrated approach that combines Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) with Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Ecosystem Management and  Restoration (EMR). These communities have analysed their needs and solutions to be dealt with in a micro project. Furthermore, community beneficiaries are trained and their awareness is raised to help them understand how micro projects will contribute to risk reduction, climate change adaptation and ecosystem management and restoration.

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Climate Change Roundtables

Throughout Guatemala, Climate Change Roundtables (MCC) have been created with the purpose of reaching consensus and implementing policies, strategies, and laws to take measures against the effects of climate change. From the outset it has been a goal of the Partners for Resilience
(PfR) programme to support the Climate Change Roundtable, to address issues related to the integrated DRR/CCA/EMR4 approach; in other words: not only to be a point of encounter, but also the necessary vehicle towards resilience.

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The Strategic Inter-Institutional Agenda in Guatemala

Working together to create resilient communities, the Partners for Resilience (PfR) identitied a significant opportunity to increase collaboration between the governing bodies in Guatemala. Partners for Resilience joins the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), the Executive Secretariat of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (SE-CONRED), and the National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP) in the creation of the Strategic Inter-Institutional Agenda, endeavouring to reduce the vulnerability of rural communities with an integrated approach.

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Green economy with sustainable value chains

CHALLENGE: Agricultural output is expected to double and resource efficiency increase tenfold in the coming decades. Only a rapid transformation in the way products and services are produced and consumed will ensure the continued delivery of essential ecosystem services provided by a healthy environment while meeting the demands of the world’s growing population. Local communities must have a voice in this transition.

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Call for Action on Agro Commodity Governance

Over the last decade, various commitments towards sustainability of agro-commodity value chains have been made by governments and private sector. Relevant in this context is the recent zero deforestation pledges included in the New York declaration on Forests. Despite important progress, translating these commitments into effective implementation remains a challenge.

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Soy entering valuable wetlands of Argentina

Due to the enormous emphasis on soybean cultivation within Argentina, activities such as cattle raising but also the cultivation of soybeans are increasingly pushed to more marginal and vulnerable areas, where the cost of land is lower.

The Paraná Delta, one of the most unique and important wetlands regions in the world, is one of these places. Although the region is not suitable for these activities, new actors are radically altering the landscape to make the undertaking of these activities possible. Read more about our work on soy and wetlands.

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Soy Cultivation in South America

Soy cultivation has shown an increasing expansion throughout Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, in the last decade. This remarkable increase is explained by its economical importance in the region, and as a consequence, it is difficult to regulate its progress and attenuate its potential socio-environmental impacts. Read more about our work on soy and wetlands.

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The challenge of restoring rivers

This video was produced by Wetlands International - European Association and the Iberian Centre for River Restoration (CIREF) to illustrate the need for river restoration, the benefits it brings and the necessary factors for its success.

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Wetlands International's inputs to the ENVI Committee’s draft 2nd reading report on ILUC

Wetlands International welcomes the transition towards the sustainable production and consumption of bioenergy which delivers substantial greenhouse gas (GHG) savings compared to fossil fuels. As an organisation with valuable experience in wetland conservation, restoration and the sustainable use of their resources for people, climate and nature worldwide, we suggest a set of recommendations for inclusion in the European Parliament’s position on the second reading of the Indirect Land-Use Changes (ILUC) file (procedure file 2012/0288(COD)).

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Joint NGO letter on the environment, climate and social impacts of biofuels

This joint NGO letter was sent to the Members of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament to urge them to raise the environmental, climate and social ambition of the Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) file. The land-use changes  triggered by the expansion of biofuel crops are linked to greenhouse gas emissions (including significant  peatland emissions) and other negative impacts on people and the environment.

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The whole Pantanal, not just the half

The Pantanal, in the heart of South America, on the border of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, is the largest freshwater wetland in the world. It has an enormous biodiversity and the people who live there mainly live from fishing and tourism. The Pantanal has a water regulating function for an enormous area to the La Plata in Argentina, some 1,500 kilometers away. 'The whole Pantanal, not just the half', supported by Both ENDS, IUCN and Wetlands International reviews the current developments with regard to soy production in the region to create an informed debate. The ultimate goal is to achieve agreements and commitments to stop buying soy from the Pantanal, as already exist on soy from other areas, such as that around the Amazon.

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FISH PASSES: fish ladders and other pass systems

Since the middle of the 20th century, humans have significantly altered the hydrological and hydraulic system of European rivers, with (hydropower) dams, dredging, rectifications, channelling, etc. One of the most damaging effects of these activities results from constructing crossing works over rivers (dams, waterwheels, bridge foundations, etc), which frequently impede or limit the free movement of fish fauna.

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ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND RIVER RESTORATION

Understanding the economic and social value of ecosystem services in a river system can help prioritise river restoration projects. Currently, public administrations rarely consider river restoration projects as investments. Funding for restoring natural capital is substantially lower than the funding available to build and maintain built infrastructure. By reframing river restoration projects as restoration of natural capital it is possible to attract the financial resources needed to restore river systems and better integrate environmental and social values.

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HOW CAN A RIVER BE HYDROLOGICALLY RESTORED?

This technical note on river restoration discusses how hydrological restoration should be incorporated in river restoration, and which are the most adequate strategies to design and implement the restored (functional) flows in rivers. Restoration of a river's flow regime should be the first step in any attempt to recover its ecological integrity, as the flow pattern determines, more than any other physical or environmental feature, the structure and spatial-temporal functioning of the river system.

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WHAT IS RIVER RESTORATION?

This technical note explores the concept of river restoration, addressing it as a process to re-establish or recover a natural system through the elimination of the impacts that degrade it throughout a prolonged period of time, until a natural and self-sustaining functioning is achieved. The process of restoration must attain naturalness, functionality, dynamism, complexity, diversity and resilience of the natural system. Real restoration is, therefore, self-restoration.

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CHANNEL GRADIENT: Calculation process using GIS

This technical note on river restoration adresses the calculation of river channel gradients using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The channel gradient is a fundamental parameter in the geomorphologic characterisation of river systems; it is a reflection of the changes in the longitudinal sequence of a river through the presence of waterfalls, step pools (fasts and pools), riffle pools (rapids and pools), etc., which makes it a discriminating factor of environmental dynamics of differentiated processes.

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RIVER SINUOSITY INDEX: Geomorphological characterisation

This technoical notes on river restoration explores the concept of sinuosity. Sinuosity is used to define the degree of meandering of a riverbed, which is then used to establish geomorphological river types.

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