This innovative project focuses on how to deliver Rights of Nature for wetlands. Despite recognition that wetlands deliver multiple benefits, particularly for the poor and marginalised, widespread wetland loss and deterioration continues contributing to climate destabilisation and biodiversity declines. New approaches are required for wetland conservation and to sustain wetland benefits. This project examines the Rights of Wetlands approach in different country contexts, embedding the right for a wetland to function and exist through community management, legal instruments and governance frameworks.

Rights of Wetlands declares that wetlands possess rights to:

  • exist;
  • their ecologically determined location in the landscape; natural, connected and sustainable hydrological regimes;
  • ecologically sustainable climatic conditions; naturally occurring biodiversity;
  • regeneration and restoration;
  • integrity of structure, function and evolutionary processes;
  • fulfil natural ecological roles in the Earth’s processes;
  • be free from pollution and degradation.

Recognition and implementation of these rights acknowledges a wetland’s ecological catchment location and interconnectedness and is seen as an essential step in efforts to stop wetland loss and deterioration.

The project will run from June 2023 until December 2026.

  • Location Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Kenya and Sri Lanka
  • Collaborators Wetlands International (Kenya), Wetlands International Global Office (Netherlands), International Water Management Institute (Sri Lanka), Ministry of Environment (Sri Lanka), North Rupununi District Development Board (Guyana), ATAYAK - Asociación de Yachak del Pueblo de Sarayaku (Ecuador), Worcester State University (USA), Universidad Católica de Bolivia "San Pablo" (Bolivia), Practical Action in Bolivia (Bolivia), Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (USA)
  • Funding Darwin Initiative, UK
  • Service provided Research and training