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Weekly News Alert
Issue 294
February 4-9, 2019


The role of peatlands in storing carbon dioxide: What we learned at World Wetlands Day 2019

PEDRR participated in celebrating World Wetlands Day 2019 in Geneva at the World Meteorological Organization. This year the discussion focused on the role of wetlands in coping with climate change.  With global concentrations of dioxide carbon having reached peak levels in 2017 and the UN Security Council asking the World Meteorological Organisation to brief them on climate change for the first time, there is urgency to address increasing carbon emissions. Ecosystems, such as forests, mangroves and peatlands can absorb and store carbon dioxide if well-preserved. The role of peatlands in storing carbon is widely under-recognized although they can store twice as much carbon as forests. See the video of the event here

More about the Global Peatlands Initiative, a global initiative to save peatlands:
Inside China's leading "sponge city"

Wuhan was once known as "the city of a hundred lakes". Rapid urban growth led to massive drainage, which left the city with only around 30 lakes in the central area, compared to 127 in the 1980's. The city is very prone to floods, especially in the summer monsoon months: 2016 torrential floods cost the city 344 million USD. The city is now a leader in piloting alternatives to traditional flood defenses and drainage systems, including permeable pavements, rain gardens, grass swales, artificial ponds and wetlands. These measures form part of a nationwide programme in 30 Chinese cities, with the objective of ensuring that 80% of urban land can absorb water runoff. Read more about it

Project insights

UNDP to initiate two projects with a nature-based solution approach

UNDP has recently started two projects that develop an ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk and climate change: 

Restoring coral reefs to reduce disaster risk and enhance food security in Mauritius and the Seychelles 
The project will focus on coral reef restoration which will support the island nations' growing industries, at the same time ensuring food security for fishers and reducing risks from high-intensity storms. Mauritius is losing its live corals at an accelerated rate, with as much as 70% reduction in live coral cover from 1997 to 2007. In Seychelles, coral cover declined 50 to 90% over the last two decades. Read more here
Enhancing climate resilience of India's coastal communities 
This 6-year project (2019-2024) will enhance climate resilience of the most vulnerable population, especially women, using ecosystem-centred and community-based approaches against climate-induced hazards, notably storm surges. Building climate-resilient livelihoods would ultimately benefit 1.7 million people and another 10 million with improved shoreline protection. Read more about it

Scientific corner

Ecosystems suffered the most during California's drought in 2012-2016
Scientists from the University of California summarized the magnitude and impacts of the 2012-2016 drought in California. The report states that ecosystems were possibly the most impacted, compared to the agricultural, urban, energy and recreation sectors. Forests were particularly affected, with the death of 102 million trees. This bears implications for spoil erosion, public safety and wildfires, as already being felt. Drought buffering for the economy was in part paid for by native ecosystems, with several native species pushed to the brink of extinction. Read the full article here.  

Publication from partners

Technical brief on Climate and Ecosystem-inclusive DRR
Mercy Corps published a technical brief on Climate and Ecosystem-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction. It proposes a new framework for improved implementation, based on three case-studies illustrating  flood resilience in Semarang, Indonesia; risk-informed economic development in Nepal and Timor Leste; and community resilience in Rohingya refugee camps. Read the full publication here


The EU must lead on natural climate solutions 

A recent report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), which advises European Union states, sparked debate in climate change circles by attacking the potential of so-called “negative emissions technologies”, including nature based climate solutions. Justin Adams, the managing director for global lands at The Nature Conservancy argues that nature based solutions can provide 37% of cost-effective carbon dioxide mitigation needed through 2030. He highlights that several companies have entered the "nature tech" sector, while emphasizing the need to reduce deforestation trends, as well as reforest. Read more here.


Job Opportunities

Project Officer
Organization: Wetlands International
Location: Aswa Catchment, Uganda
Closing date: 10 February 2019

Senior Director for Climate Risk 
Organization: The Nature Conservancy
Location: USA (location flexible) 
Closing date: 11 February 2019

Intern - Disaster Risk Reduction
Organization: UN Environment
Location: Geneva 
Closing date: 15 February 2019

Programme Coordinator, Natural Resources Group
Organization: IUCN
Location: Bangkok, Thailand 
Closing date: 15 February 2019

Resource Mobilization Officer (P3)
Organization: Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (through UNOPS)
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Closing date: 17 February 2019

Programme Head, Climate-smart land use
Organization: Wetlands International
Location: Ede-Wageningen, The Netherlands
Closing date: Not specified

For more information please see PEDRR LinkedIn.

Please send your news alert for us to feature:
News Writer: Louise Schreyers
Copyright ©  2015 Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), All rights reserved.

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