Lauding the WAs vigilance when protecting valued natural resources;
Recognizing that the degradation of wetlands has a serious impact on transnational migratory species, quality of trans-boundary waters, and a loss of nursery habitat necessary to sustain populations of commercially-harvested species;
Aware that wetlands have fantastic capacity to absorb catastrophic flooding and cleanse waters of dangerous pollutants;
Realizing that the benefits that wetlands provide at no cost are often prohibitively expensive to artificially provide, and have effects that cannot be contained by national borders;
Horrified at the degradation of wetlands, despite the benefits they offer;
Defining wetlands as terrestrial habitats, natural or otherwise, whose biological and physical properties are characterized by the regular saturation of water during the growing season, and show evidence of hydrology, hydric soils, and hydrophytic vegetation;
The World Assembly hereby,
- Creates and tasks the Waterbody Health and Mitigation Management Organization (WHAMMO) to:
a. Collect and disseminate information relevant to wetland study, identification, and protection;
b. Enforce best management practices for research and impact reduction in wetlands, such as jurisdictional determination, public demarcation, and post-construction monitoring;
c. Manage the purchase of non-transferable mitigation credits by nations for unavoidable permanent impacts caused to a wetland during industrial development, which:
i. May be used in lieu of on-site mitigation when all other measures are proven impossible or impractical for a location, and;
ii. Are equitably priced according to the characteristics of the wetland, impact, and viability of alternative methods;
d. Authorize mitigation credit grants to nations which preemptively construct wetland banks to offset future wetland loss, and;
e. Collect and disseminate information relevant to wetland study and protection, and issue grants and loans to non-profit entities making progressive strides in wetland conservation and research.
Urges member states to employ strategic-level assessment of their wetland resources to avoid and reduce impact to wetlands.
Requires member states utilize at least one of the following mitigation methods:
a. Restore wetlands to their pre-construction quality and characteristics;
b. Construct new wetlands of equal quality in the vicinity to offset impact;
c. Purchase mitigation credits from WHAMMO;
Mandates member states utilize mitigation measures for affected wetland area at no less than a 1:1 ratio.
Requires member states adopt, at a minimum, the best management standards issued by WHAMMO.
Obligates member states to require projects to include pre-construction environmental reports detailing any potential impacts to wetlands, such as secondary and cumulative impacts, and possible alternatives, including a no-construction alternative, available for review by WHAMMO in the event of dispute.
Encourages member states to create and fund water management programs to assist in impact mitigation and wetland quality maintenance, as well as work with local and non-governmental entities to best meet that end.
Allows member states to require industries impacting a wetland to assume these additional costs.