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Are South Sudan’s Wetlands in Danger of Drying Up?

August 26, 2016 |

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The Sudd wetlands have been estimated to provide services worth nearly $1 billion a year.

“The Sudd wetlands in South Sudan can cover an area nearly the size of the United Kingdom, as much as 90,000 km2 in the wet season. Their importance was recognized in 2006 when the Sudd was officially designated a Ramsar site – a wetland area of international importance – by the United Nations.

However, the Sudd ecosystem and its unique cultures are threatened by a variety of development pressures including a plan to almost completely drain the wetland to divert water for agriculture downstream. Such pressures illustrate how unrestrained economic and political forces can threaten the degradation of a valuable and irreplaceable ecosystem and major disruptions to cultures that have thrived for centuries.

So says an October 2015 report sponsored by UN Environment (UNEP), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York), and the World Conservation Society and titled The Economic, Cultural and Ecosystem Values of the Sudd Wetland in South Sudan: An Evolutionary Approach to Environment and Development.

“This unique natural feature has provided for the cattle cultures of South Sudan for millennia. We should err on the side of caution when considering degrading its known services for an unknown future without them,” says the report…”

Read on at: United Nations Environment Programme.

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