Greening the Economy

A green (low carbon, energy efficient and socially inclusive) economy has been increasingly seen as a potential panacea for the current environmental, social and economy crises facing by the global community. Our goal is to promote economic development that is harmonious with conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.

The problem

Wetlands are often viewed as marginal lands that are ‘there’ for development. Increasingly these types of lands are being targeted for reclamation and conversion into agricultural, industrial and urban areas. While the direct economic benefits of such development are clear and quantifiable, the long term socio-economic impacts are often significant and detrimental. The inherent and immense values of wetlands tend to be overlooked and undervalued in the decision making process which involves, in most cases, only a certain powerful/interest groups. To solve this issue, there is a need for clear and measurable values and services of wetlands to inform and evaluate options for a proposed development scheme.

What we do

Wetlands International works proactively to develop technical expertise and knowledge on the policies and practices of some key industries and finance institutions that directly or indirectly have impacts on wetlands. These key industries include:

We work in a critical and constructive manner with the corporate sector to improve their ‘sustainability’ performance. We challenge their economic strategies and production system standards which disregard the need for sustainability criteria, particularly those relevant to wetlands. Currently, we are engaged in a global partnership with Shell and are actively involved in industry roundtables such Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) and the Rountable on Responsible Soy (RTRS).

We also aim to influence policy change and commitments from various governments. Some examples of our substantive work in this area include providing inputs on the palm oil and pulpwood concession policies in Indonesia, facilitating the establishment of agreements in the Niger Basin Authority on water use, and lobbying the European Commission for the inclusion of wetlands and peatlands sustainability criteria in the EU Renewable Energy Directive.


Palm Oil production, peatlands & CO2 Emissions (video)

This video tells the story how peatlands are drained and turned into oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia. Palm oil is used in many products, from shampoo to cookies. But their production causes peatland draining, peat fires, and the loss of habitats for many endangered species, such as the Orangutan and Sumatra... Read more

Policy submission

Pitfalls and potentials: The role of bioenergy in the EU climate and energy policy post 2020

This joint NGO briefing contains an analysis of the current and potential role of bioenergy in the European Union's climate and energy policies, and a series of recommendations to ensure that sustainable bioenergy truly contri... Read more

What we achieved