Wetlands are incredible ecosystems.
Able to store huge amounts of carbon, they make an invaluable contribution to global biodiversity, water quality, flood management and human well-being. Yet historically wetlands have been overlooked, overexploited and underappreciated. This needs to change – and if we are to combat the ever-increasing threat of climate change, it is important that wetlands are placed front and centre.
Wetlands are found all over the world, from peatlands and tropical swamps to mangroves. As a Lecturer in Ecosystem Resilience in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, my research is focused on increasing awareness of them – their importance and benefits – globally. Through that, my aim is to achieve a level of protection, restoration and management for wetlands that can highlight them as a viable nature-based solution to climate change.
The United Nations Climate Change Convention (COP26) presents a unique opportunity to take a step in the right direction. It unites parties from across the world together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on climate change.
For the past year, I have been working as an Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) British Council Commonwealth Research Fellow. It has enabled me to work alongside 25 other researchers from across the Commonwealth and, over the past year, we have been targeting COP26 as the perfect place to highlight the importance stakeholder engagement and the protection of natural ecosystems.