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Strauch A.,University of Bonn | Geller G.,GEO Secretariat | Grobicki A.,Ramsar Convention Secretariat | Hilarides L.,Wetlands International | And 3 more authors.
European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP | Year: 2016

Wetlands are hot spots of biodiversity and provide a wide range of valuable ecosystem services, but at the same time they globally are one of the fastest declining and most endangered ecosystems. The development of a Global Wetland Observation System (GWOS) that is supported by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands since 2007 is seen as a step towards improved capabilities for global mapping, monitoring and assessment of wetland ecosystems and their services, status and trends. A newly proposed GEO-Wetlands initiative is taking up this effort and developing the necessary governance and management structures, a community of practice and the necessary scientific and technical outputs to set up this system and maintain it over the long term. This effort is aiming at directly supporting the needs of global conventions and monitoring frameworks as well as users of wetland information on all levels (local to global) to build a platform that provides a knowledge-hub as a baseline for informed ecosystem management and decision-making.

Sutherland W.J.,University of Cambridge | Alves J.A.,University of East Anglia | Amano T.,University of Cambridge | Chang C.H.,Fudan University | And 10 more authors.
Ibis | Year: 2012

We review the conservation issues facing migratory shorebird populations that breed in temperate regions and use wetlands in the non-breeding season. Shorebirds are excellent model organisms for understanding ecological, behavioural and evolutionary processes and are often used as indicators of wetland health. A global team of experienced shorebird researchers identified 45 issues facing these shorebird populations, and divided them into three categories (natural, current anthropogenic and future issues). The natural issues included megatsunamis, volcanoes and regional climate changes, while current anthropogenic threats encompassed agricultural intensification, conversion of tidal flats and coastal wetlands by human infrastructure developments and eutrophication of coastal systems. Possible future threats to shorebirds include microplastics, new means of recreation and infectious diseases. We suggest that this review process be broadened to other taxa to aid the identification and ranking of current and future conservation actions. © 2012 The Authors Ibis © 2012 British Ornithologists' Union.

Rijal S.,Ramsar Convention Secretariat | Cochard R.,ETH Zurich
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2016

Mimosa pigra, an alien woody weed, invaded the Mekong River Basin since ~1970 and now covers vast floodplain areas in virtual monocultures. The prickly plants produce abundant seeds which are dispersed annually by the floods. Mimosa thus represents a burden to farming communities in Cambodia where agricultural capacities are weak. To obtain information on infestations as well as farmers’ management practices and perceptions, 81 farmers were interviewed on their fields (using questionnaires) in affected areas near Kratie municipality. Data on infestations were collected at landscape and field levels. Furthermore, villagers’ groups and key informants were interviewed (open questions). Infestations covered ~30 % of the land near fields. On average, farmers spent 11 days per hectare annually clearing mimosa. The weed represented a major cost, but other issues (animal pests, water shortages, lack of resources) were equally important; these may be connected with mimosa invasion. Farmers mostly expressed support for ideas to combat surrounding infestations, but support depended on experiences and assets at stake. Most were unconvinced that mimosa could be eliminated from the study site. Conceivable benefits of mimosa were regarded as insignificant. Given the currently few realistic options for significantly improving management, further research is suggested within adaptive management frameworks. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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