The IUCN NL released a video on the Weerribben Wieden National Park in The Netherlands, REWET Open Lab 1.
IUCN NL collaborates with WEnR - Wageningen Environmental Research – Wageningen University & Research in the coordination of the research activities related with the REWET project and climate mitigation in peatlands.
Caspar Werver, one of the ecologist of the IUCN NL, passionately advocates for a concerted effort to restore wetlands across Europe. "Given the impact of climate change, we must now pull out all the stops to restore wetlands in Europe," he declares.
Dr. Ralf Verdonschot, researcher at the Wagengingen University, explains the importance of restoration activities for wetlands: "With restorative measures, you try to bring the situation back to the way it was before. They start functioning naturally again".
One of the most critical types of wetlands, peatlands, such as the Weerribben-Wieden in the Netherlands, house the largest carbon stocks among terrestrial ecosystems. Beyond their carbon sequestration role, peatlands act as natural sponges, retaining significant amounts of water and releasing it during periods of drought. Unfortunately, these invaluable ecosystems are under threat, and the urgency to address their decline is paramount.
Over the past century, Europe has witnessed an alarming loss of 80% of its wetlands, with the remaining 20% in a precarious state. Astonishingly, wetlands received minimal attention during the negotiations at COP28, despite their pivotal role in climate resilience.
A beacon of hope comes with initiatives such as the REWET project, funded by the European Union. This collaborative initiative brings together NGOs, universities, companies, and institutions with a shared mission: to develop a comprehensive understanding of how European wetlands can optimally contribute to both climate mitigation and adaptation. By fostering a holistic approach and leveraging the expertise of diverse stakeholders, the project aims to reverse the decline of Europe's wetlands and unlock their full potential in the fight against climate change.
Watch the insightful video produced by Zeevonk Media to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities surrounding the restoration of Europe's wetlands.