Wetlands provide us with water, they protect us from floods, droughts and other disasters, they provide food and livelihoods to millions of people, they support rich biodiversity, and they store more carbon than any other ecosystem. Yet, the value of wetlands remains largely unrecognized by policy and decision makers.


Up to 87% of the global wetland resource has been lost since 1700. We lose wetlands three times faster than natural forests. 



Wetland-dependent species are in serious decline. Since 1970, declines have affected 81% of inland wetland species populations and 36% of coastal and marine species.


The loss of wetlands continues with direct and measurable negative impacts on the quality and availability of water, food security, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.


Healthy, functioning wetlands are essential to delivering a range of global targets, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Aichi biodiversity targets, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Land Degradation Neutrality.


The purpose of the Global Wetlands Outlook is to increase understanding of the value of wetlands and provide recommendations to ensure that wetlands are conserved, wisely used and their benefits recognized and valued by all.