Fundación Humedales / Wetlands International Argentina develops communication and capacity building strategies to support the Parana Delta Wetlands. News from CEC member Marta Andelman.
By CEC member Marta Andelman, Communication Coordinator Fundacion Humedales / Wetlands International Argentina
The Parana Delta Wetlands in Argentina support a wide variety of natural resources and the livelihoods of nearly 20,000 people, but are facing enormous pressures. To address these challenges, Fundación Humedales / Wetlands International Argentina develops communication and capacity building strategies that rely on sustainable solutions, scientific knowledge base and best management practices.
The Parana Delta Wetlands is located in the final part of the Plata Basin and can be depicted as a wetland macro-system that occupies nearly 17,000 km2. In recent years, this region has been seriously affected. Activities like large-scale livestock farming, agriculture, drainage patterns modification due to embankments and dikes and urban development have resulted in wetland degradation and in the lost of many goods and services they provide to local communities, such as pastures for livestock, fishing resources, native flora for beekeeping, carbon storage and floods regulations. The loss of traditional livelihoods resulting from wetland degradation by ill-conceived water management is driven local people to migrate to urban centers, feeding poverty belts and shantytowns. The described panorama is the result of the lack of an integral management of the Parana Delta ecosystems, the use of unsustainable productive practices, and the low capacity of the Civil Society Organizations to participate and influence policy decisions and processes.
In particular, the Delta area of the Tigre has been severely threatened by the increase of mega-urbanization affecting the natural dynamics of wetlands ecosystem. In most cases, the process of urbanization in these areas leads to conversion of wetlands to a land-dwelling system denying the physical and biological characteristics of these wetlands, causing the disappearance of important ecosystem services such as water regulation, control flooding, coastal protection and water purification.
To address this situation, Fundación Humedales / Wetlands International Argentina has developed different communication and capacity building strategies targeting different key stakeholders to mobilize knowledge, build institutional awareness and influence policy decisions and processes base on community and policy-making dialogues, newsletters, workshops and roundtables involving different stakeholders. One of the achievements of this process, has been that last March, the County of Tigre in northern Buenos Aires province, Argentina, sanctioned the Management Plan for the Delta of Tigre, which considered the advised and recommendations of Fundación Humedales/ Wetlands International Argentina. The endorsed plan is an important step in towards sustainable development as it recognizes the need for conservation and sustainable management of wetland ecosystems, and their importance in providing water, fish and other natural resources to local populations. With this plan, the County of Tigre is taking the lead in Parana Delta land planning that promotes the conservation and wise use of this incredible wetland region.
Marta Andelman, Communication Coordinator, Fundacion Humedales / Wetlands International Argentina