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Integrating multiple wetland values into decision-making

The Ramsar Convention recognizes the interdependence of people on wetlands for their important economic, cultural, scientific and recreational values. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) provides a framework for considering the multiple values of nature, including wetlands, and its benefits to society within policy-making and decisionmaking processes.

The recognition of the diverse values of wetlands is essential to their wise use, and to ensuring that their role is reflected in global policy processes such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

This Policy Brief can support policy-makers by informing and facilitating the integration of the multiple values of wetlands across sectors, supported by improved valuation studies, to enhance the relevance and impact of policies.

Policy recommendations

  • To achieve wise use, and for wetlands to contribute fully to sustainable development, policy-makers and practitioners1 (such as site managers) should recognize the multiple values of wetlands, and reflect them in their decisions, policies and actions.
  • Assessments of the multiple values of wetlands must include a recognition and consideration of a range of different value systems.
  • Multiple wetland values need to inform collaborative, cross-sectoral efforts. The different sectors engaged in wetland governance should communicate and collaborate to ensure that these multiple wetland values are recognized.
  • Assessments of the multiple values of wetlands should follow credible, legitimate and relevant processes if they are to be accepted and have an impact on policy.