Floriade Dialogue #12

Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration: Biodiversity and the impact on available freshwater resources – World Water Day

Floriade Dialogue Webinar #12 took place on Friday 19 March 2021. Theme: SDG2 and SDG6 (Zero Hunger and Clean Water and Sanitation)


This Floriade Dialogue edition was all about freshwater ecosystems, wetlands and the value for societies and economies. We will discuss the importance of wetlands and forests and their fundamental importance for freshwater resources as they play a distributive and restoring role for nature, agriculture and thus for human kind. Healthy wetlands and forests are essential to delivering a range of global targets, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This edition of Floriade Dialogues is organised in the context of and run-up to World Water Day 2021.

Wetland benefit water infrastructure

Wetlands only cover a small percentage of the earth’s surface, yet they are essential systems – they are the arteries and veins of the landscape. They are a critical part of our natural environment. They act as water sources and purifiers. They protect our shores. They are the planet’s greatest natural carbon stores. They are crucial to agriculture and fisheries. A world without wetlands is a world without water. Besides: wetlands are areas of great natural beauty!

Global Wetland Outlook, a report published in 2018 by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands provides a current overview of global wetlands. Key finding: Wetlands disappear three times faster than forests despite the fact that they are globe’s most carbon-dense ecosystems. Salt marshes, sea grass beds, mangroves and peatlands account for just 3% of the world’s land surface and store twice as much carbon as forests.

Ecosystem deliverables

We can’t neglect that wetlands play a pivotal role in delivering global commitments on climate change, sustainable development and biodiversity. Additionally, there is also a strong connection between food security and healthy ecosystems. By adjusting water and agricultural practices in wetlands and incorporating wetlands in agricultural landscapes, long term food security can be assured and biodiversity enhanced. In other words: ecosystem based adaptation is a crucial solution for intensified water consumption by households, agriculture and energy. By improving water sharing and restoring wetlands, water supplies can be safeguarded.


  • Download the presentation | Wetlands as cost effective investment strategy to increase water security | Speaker: Sander Carpay, Asociate Expert and Urban Resilience Coordinator, Wetlands International, The Netherlands
  • Download the presentation | Creating ecological landscapes, coherence and benefits with natural processes; “National Parc New Land” | Speaker: Perry Cornelissen, Senior consultant ecology, State Forestry Service, The Netherlands
  • Download the presentation | Green Infrastructure Master Plan Udon Thani; Urban wetland retention and water resource engineering | Speaker: Ignacio Ortinez, principal of estudioOCA, Thailand

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"Wetlands account for just 3% of the world’s land surface and store twice the carbon forests do. They are the most carbon-dense ecosystems."