Wetlands are cradles of life. They provide resources such as water, food, timber and non-timber products. Wetlands also support and provide habitat and breeding grounds for many animals such birds, fish and mammals. Besides that, wetlands provide important functions such as coastal protection, flood buffer, carbon sequestration, nutrient and toxicant removal among many other services.
For centuries, wetlands have played a significant role in human society. Many ancient civilisations were developed along rivers and floodplains. However, population growth and development has led to the conversion of many wetlands globally, especially in the Asian region. The global extent of wetlands declined is estimated to be between 64-71% in the 20th century. The loss of wetlands threatens the livelihoods of many communities who rely on these ecosystems for agriculture and fisheries.
Wetlands International Malaysia is working with stakeholders to conserve wetlands and explore alternative livelihood options to reduce the impacts of human activities on the natural environment and diversify economic activities to ensure sustainability.