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Wetlands and Livelihoods Programme

This programme focused on the mainstreaming of sustainable wetland management principles and practice into the development of poverty reduction strategies through local and international partnerships in DAC1 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It did so by enhancing of existing and supporting development of new policies at local, national and international levels, with specific inclusion of the water and health sectors and by ensuring due attention to the need for equitable development.


Project Description:

Why did Wetlands International develop this programme?


Wetland degradation is continuing at an alarming rate. At the same time the world is facing considerable human poverty. In many developing countries there is a link between the two. Unsustainable wetland management is degrading wetland service provision and associated livelihoods as well as contributing to biodiversity loss.

Sustainable wetland management can in many places maintain and even improve livelihoods whilst providing benefits for biodiversity. This programme was developed to contribute to resolving these issues starting from policy development and change. The proposal specifically identified policy failure in water resource management and poverty reduction as being key drivers in wetland degradation and associated loss of livelihood.
Wetlands International strategy and programmes


The programme was designed to strongly support the delivery of the Wetlands International Strategic Intent and particularly Goals 2 and 3. The Strategy and its Goals were developed through a bottom-up process. The close linkage of this programme to these goals means that it was been built based on our institutional priorities as identified by our partners and network.

The WLP proposal was also been designed to follow-on and build on the Wetlands and Poverty Reduction programme (WPRP) which ended in 2008. There was continuity between the two, showing consolidation and further development of progress and achievement made in WPRP.


What does the programme aim to achieve?


Wetlands and livelihoods related policy change and implementation. The programme enabled us to establish or change existing policy so that wetlands and livelihood issues can be addressed. Furthermore we were able to show evidence of implementation of these policies in planning and on the ground. This did not mean that we focus exclusively on the conservation sector; intersectoral approaches enabled us to bridge the conservation-development sector divide.


What strategies does the programme give us to achieve this aim?

The programme was divided into three intervention strategies these relate to Demonstration, Capacity Building, Influencing Policy. Each of these three strategies are described in detail throughout the programme proposal document, and so they were not be repeated. However it is worth emphasising that these three strategies have not been implemented separately. The programme’s overall objective demands that they were all integrated and focused on a few common policy goals. The end result of combining demonstration, capacity building and policy influence is policy change and changed implementation of policy.

Project Partners:

 Donor: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS)

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