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News Natural Buffers Needed: CIWEM calls for more wetlands, forests and water storage areas as buffers to climate change

In a response to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's study on adapting to climate change, CIWEM calls for more wetlands, forests and water storage areas as buffers to climate change.


CIWEM considers climate change a major indicator of our failure to live sustainably and the ability of the natural environment to respond to change is weakened by continuing human pressures. Existing protected areas should be increased and new areas created. More ecological corridors are needed to allow freer movements between isolated natural areas, strengthening resiliency to climate change and new forests should be established.


CIWEM would also like to see further research done into more diverse schemes that have the potential to assist with adaptation. A good example is peatland restoration. Peatlands are a threatened carbon store but they can be effectively restored and have the potential for delivering carbon savings. Grasslands could also deliver savings to carbon budgets. Although the carbon storage contribution of grassland is less known than that of peatland, it is found in greater quantities and is a valuable habitat that would assist with species migration and adaptation.


CIWEM also argues that a more holistic approach must be taken when considering the social, economic and environmental impacts. Differing and geographically specific adaptation measures are required but these must be firmly related to the sustainability agenda, where other important issues such as population growth, resource depletion, pollution, water shortages and food scarcity are referenced. It must also be understood that current mitigation measures taken now may not have a significant impact on climate change for some time. Therefore adaptation needs to be built into all economic strategies.


CIWEM's response finishes with the thought that the goal of sustainable development requires that the natural environment enjoyed today can be enjoyed to the same extent, or better, by future generations. An unacceptable level of change is one that would prevent this from happening.





For more information contact Emily Doyle, CIWEM Press and Marketing Officer, on 020 7831 3110 or


Editor's note

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is an independent professional body and a registered charity, advancing the science and practice of water and environmental management for a clean, green and sustainable world.

Contact information Emily Doyle, CIWEM Press and Marketing Officer (email:
Phone: 020 7831 3110
News type CallForPaper
File link
Source of information The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)
Keyword(s) climate change, water storage, forests
Geographical coverage International
News date 14/10/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH