Wetlands are wonderful ecosystems. These inland waters act as buffers against strong winds and flooding from heavy rain and sea level rise. Mangroves protect our coastlines and coastal communities from storm surges and contribute significantly to local food security.
Peatlands such as those found in the Agusan Marsh are excellent carbon sinks, absorbing and storing about 30 per cent of the world’s land-based carbon.
The ASEAN region is blessed with close to two million square kilometres of inland waters and wetlands, making up 60 per cent and 42 per cent of the world’s tropical peatlands and mangrove forests.
The ASEAN list of Ramsar sites, or internationally important wetlands being conserved and sustainably used, is growing, with more than 20 new designated sites over the past decade.
At the moment, the ASEAN region has 59 Ramsar sites covering over 2.6 million hectares, and more sites for nomination.
More details in Tuesday’s Borneo Bulletin