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ecosystems are the hidden hand behind many disasters.”
Editor:WI  Time:2014-9-26

Wetlands have the greatest value of services for human well-being, yet they have suffered the greatest habitat losses over the past century. Wetlands International CEO Jane Madgwick pointed to the recent floods in India and the Balkans as a case in point, saying “to a large extent the impacts of these floods were predictable and preventable. Investing in wetlands as water stores in the landscape helps save human lives and livelihoods and makes economic sense.


The recent devastation in Kashmir, India is driven by wetland conversion and degradation in Kashmir valley. The largest freshwater lake, Wular Lake formerly functioned as a large sponge that buffered against flooding and low river flows. Now, the lake is silted up and the marshes have been drained and converted for as agriculture and willow plantations. 90% of the absorptive capacity of the lake has gone and flash floods result. The management plan for restoring the lake, prepared for the Indian government by Wetlands International has only been partly implemented. It offers a cost effective solution to reduce flood risk.

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