Wetlands and livelihoods

Wetlands are not only home to many plants and animals but also to a lot of human communities. The people who live in a wetland area depend on it for food, housing, income etc. This is why Wetlands International always takes human needs into account when defending wetlands.

Wetlands International works with partners so that values and services delivered by wetlands are recognised and integrated into sustainable development.

Resource base

Millions of people depend for their livelihoods on intact and functioning wetlands. Wetlands provide them with the main resource base for their existence, like water, food and materials. In addition they act as transport corridors and provide protection against floods, drought and saltwater intrusion.Sustainable development therefore means recognising and integrating these environmental values and services into development plans and activities.

Wetlands and their role in providing fresh water flows and preventing floods are especially  important for the the region of South-Asia. This region with countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh is often suffering from too little fresh water or, at other moments, far too much. Wetlands play a key role to mitigate these extremes

Work of the South-Asia office

The South-Asia office is working together with local communities on restoring coastal wetlands like mangrove forests in Southern India. These wetlands increase the income base of local communities in terms of firewood or increased fish catch.

Another example of the livelihood approach of our office is our work on Chilika lake in Orissa. By restoring the water flows to this lagoon, we were able to restore the dwindling fish stocks and thus helping thousands of local people.

Millions of people depend for their livelihoods on intact and functioning wetlands.