Many of Australia’s 67 Ramsar sites are likely to be at risk of change in ecological character associated with climate change in combination with other anthropogenic impacts. Already, changes resulting from climate change have been documented for Australian Ramsar sites.
This resource brings together current tools and information to help Ramsar site managers and agencies respond now and in the future to climate changes that will impact Ramsar wetland values.
Inland wetlands, such as floodplains, rivers, lakes and swamps, function like sponges, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flood surges. During dry seasons in arid regions, wetlands release stored water, delaying the onset of droughts and minimising water shortages. Wetlands also provide vital resources for people and wildlife in times of drought.
Coastal wetlands, such as mangroves, saltmarshes, seagrass beds and coral reefs act like shock absorbers. They reduce the intensity of waves and storm surges, shielding the coastline from flooding, property damage and loss of life. The roots of wetland plants also stabilise shorelines and reduce erosion.