LIFE Humedales de La Mancha (proyecto finalizado)

Restauración de albardinales y estepas salinas

Ecosystem Services

Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. Immense varieties of species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, other wildlife and even humans and its life style depend in some way on wetlands. In these ecosystems, water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life.

Wetlands play a key role in supporting human life. They help regulate the water cycle, act as carbon sinks, offer protection from floods and storms, regulate sediment transport and contribute to land formation and coastal stability.

Ecosystem Services
Wetlands also deliver a range of services and benefits much more cheaply than man-made infrastructure. In the United Kingdom for example, wetlands have been found to make cost savings of up to £0.71 million per hectare in terms of sea defense. In the United States, the Mississippi River Delta provides at least $12-47 billion in benefits to people every year in terms of hurricane and flood protection, water quality improvements and recreation.

Wetlands also provide:

  • A water filtration system: removing contaminants, suspended particles and excessive nutrients, improving water quality and renewing water supplies.
  • An irreplaceable habitat: nesting, feeding and staging ground for several species of waterfowl and other wildlife such as reptiles and amphibians, and also for many species at risk.
  • Recreational activities...hiking, birdwatching and fishing.
Ecosystem Services

Yet, despite these startling statistics, wetlands continue to be degraded or lost altogether.

Wetlands and their wise use in water management must be put at the heart of the transition to a green economy, added the report, pushing the case for conservation of wetlands for human well-being.

Whether we have the resources or political will to secure conservation and wise use of wetlands rests on creating awareness of their importance. The TEEB report goes a long away to achieving this goal. This report is a called of attention for the police makers and the public to take actions and start having a better manage of this ecosystem.

If you want further information, you can download the TEEB wetlands report (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands) here.