, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

The Second Warning to Humanity – Providing a Context for Wetland Management and Policy

  • C. M. FinlaysonEmail author
  • Gillian T. Davies
  • William R. Moomaw
  • G. L. Chmura
  • Susan M. Natali
  • J. E. Perry
  • N. Roulet
  • Ariana E. Sutton-Grier


The Second Warning to Humanity provides a clarion call for wetland researchers and practitioners given the loss and degradation of wetlands, the declining availability of fresh water, and the likely consequences of climate change. A coordinated response and approach to policies has the potential to prevent further degradation and support resilient wetlands that can provide a range of ecosystem services, including buffering wetlands from climate impacts, and avoiding major climate amplification from temperature-induced release of additional carbon dioxide and methane while addressing the causes and consequences of global climate change. The Warning to Humanity also provides an opportunity for organisations such as the Society of Wetland Scientists to raise the profile of wetlands and to initiate a discussion on how to respond and change direction from the destructive development trajectory that led to wetland loss and degradation. It also provides a signal for a reappraisal of the effectiveness of the implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as an international mechanism for ensuring the sustainability of wetlands.


Climate change Ramsar convention Wetlands Second warning to humanity 


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Land, Water and SocietyCharles Sturt UniversityAlburyAustralia
  2. 2.BSC Group, Inc.WorcesterUSA
  3. 3.Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, The Fletcher School and Global Development and Environment InstituteTufts UniversityMedfordUSA
  4. 4.Department of GeographyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Woods Hole Research CenterFalmouthUSA
  6. 6.College of William and MaryVirginia Institute of Marine ScienceGloucester PointUSA
  7. 7.The Nature ConservancyBethesdaUSA
  8. 8.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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