Rising energy, food prices major threats to wetlands as farmers eye new areas for crops

United Nations University
25-Jul-2008expedicao pantanal intecol 11 150Critical food shortages and growing demand for bio-fuels and hydro-electricity due to high fossil fuel prices rank among the greatest threats today to the preservation of precious wetlands worldwide as farmers and developers look for new areas for agriculture, energy crop plantations and hydro dams.

However, resisting pressures to convert wetlands is vital to avoid destroying ecosystems that provide a suite of services essential to humanity, including safe, steady local water supplies, preserving biodiversity and the large-scale capture and storage of climate warming greenhouse gases, according 700 leading world experts concluding a week-long meeting in Cuiaba, Brazil.

The experts issued the Cuiaba Declaration July 25, the final day of the 8th INTECOL International Wetlands Conference, convened on the northern edge of the world’s largest tropical wetland, the Pantanal (pictured).

Full text: www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/unu-ref072408.php
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