Course Details - Water Stewardship in Action for Water and Food Security

Restoring and maintaining wetlands

We have learned that restoring and maintaining wetlands is often cheaper than man-made solutions to guarantee water and food security. Without wetlands, the water cycle, carbon cycle and nutrient cycle would be significantly altered. Did you know for instance that 40% of wetland habitats have been lost over the last 40 years? Ramsar COP12 opened with this reminder, challenging delegates to address long-standing misperceptions in many sectors about the services wetlands provide to humans and about the need to value wetland services for improved decision making. Investing in your wetlands, thus reinstalling their often degraded functions and services, might financially even be very attractive and benefit local or national economies.

A need for wetland stewards

Despite their values, wetlands have been, and continue to be lost or degraded. At the same time policies, agreements and decisions often do not sufficiently take into account interconnections and interdependencies between wetlands and water security, wetlands and food security and wetlands and climate change resilience. Food security, water management and climate change resilience all call for a cross cutting and inclusive approach involving all relevant stakeholders and sectors. This requires persons who, next to technical knowledge, possess other skills such as to facilitate processes involving sectors and stakeholders with conflicting agendas. In addition, it requires communication skills to advocate the important role of wetlands in integrated water management. In short, there is a need for more wetland stewards safeguarding water and food security.

Knowing what integrated water resources management is

As a wetland steward, whether you are a policymaker, a planner, researcher or site manager, you know that one of the difficulties to use water wisely, is the division of management responsibilities between different administrative authorities. This often results in fragmented and competitive approaches for water and food security to the detriment of wetlands. This course is based on the premise that as a wetland steward you need solid background on what integrated water resources management is, the importance of water governance, what wetlands are, the different types of wetlands, what services wetlands provide and the role the Ramsar Convention plays.

Facilitation & communication skills

To be able to act as a (more professional) water steward and to advocate for wetlands, you will also need to know how to facilitate multi-stakeholder processes, how to communicate the importance of wetlands for water and food security and how to value wetlands service in monetary terms. Apply for this course if you wish to become a better wetland steward in an interactive manner.

Ramsar’s wise use principles

The training will make use of approaches consistent with Ramsar’s wise use principles and will draw upon the expertise of Wageningen University & Research, but also other international and national governmental, non-governmental and private sector organisations. Our wetland-related trainings have been endorsed by the Ramsar Secretariat since 2004, and this training is one of them.

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