The Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) is proud to announce that its working team is growing. As a Regional Initiative of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, MedWet works to ensure and support the effective conservation of the functions and values of Mediterranean wetlands and the sustainable use of its resources and services.
The new Scientific and Technical Network has its manager
The 12th Meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com 12, Paris France, 7 – 11 February 2016), approved the Terms of Reference of the MedWet Scientific and Technical Network (MedWet STN), which will work through five Specialist Groups: biodiversity, water, ecosystem services, climate change, and wetland inventory.
The objectives of the MedWet STN are to provide scientific and technical support on wetland-related issues to the MedWet countries, and to provide inputs from a Mediterranean perspective to the work of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
The MedWet STN will be managed by Dr. Flavio Monti, an Italian biologist with working experience in the field of ecology and conservation biology. Recently, he has started a postdoctoral study at the University of Siena (Italy) for ascertaining the presence of contaminant levels in Mediterranean wetlands and coastal environments using birds as bio-indicators. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Management and Conservation of the Natural Estate, and wrote his PhD thesis on the conservation biology of a wetland raptor species, the osprey.
Flavio won the price Alan Johnson at the “Young researchers” Conference on the sciences of conservation in Mediterranean (Tour du Valat), for the quality of its scientific research applied to conservation on Negative impact of a marine protected area upon an emblematic Mediterranean raptor population.
Read MedWet article on the 3rd Conference “Young researchers” on the sciences of conservation in Mediterranean.
As manager of the STN, Flavio will operate at the interface between the MedWet Secretariat and the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) by assisting in identifying potential members for the MedWet/STN. He will work in concert with scientists and experts from different Mediterranean countries through Specialist Groups in the key areas where there is a need to improve the knowledge and managerial capacity related to wetlands conservation and sustainable use.
When speaking about his interests, he is concerned with evolutionary biology, ecology and behaviour of birds and the integration of some aspects of basic research with applications in conservation biology and wildlife management around the Mediterranean Basin. By addressing important issues in wetland conservation with the tools of international networking, he would like to have more direct participation and involvement in the promotion of environmental protection and conservation of such habitats, as the Mediterranean represents a geographic area of major concern for conservation.
Reinforced communications team to promote Mediterranean wetlands
To assure the spread of public awareness of the services that wetlands provide, MedWet is always looking to strengthen its communications as an important asset to disseminate its work. For that reason, the communication team has incorporated two new members to support and create new campaigns to raise awareness and to give MedWet, its partners and wetlands more visibility on social media platforms and on the website: we welcome Abderrahim Smari and Beatriu Soler.
As the new MedWet Communications Assistant, Abderrahim Smari is co-managing the Facebook pages in English-French and in Arabic together with the Communications Officer, as well as writing and translating into French, English and Arabic different articles and posts. Shortly, Abderrahim will help to create the new Arabic version for the MedWet website.
He has obtained a license in Electronics and Informatics in Tunisia, with a specialisation in electronic sciences. He has also worked in different private companies as a technician and as a freelance creating various websites and managing social media platforms. He is interested in issues concerning climate change as well as the culture around the Mediterranean, but above all, the influence of communications.
By working with MedWet, he seeks to help improve conservation and wise use of wetlands, while positioning MedWet as a reference in the Mediterranean region.
Beatriu Soler is a Spanish tourism manager with a license from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, having specialised in natural and cultural resources management and touristic interpretation and communications. She is also currently working on her final bachelor degree thesis, a study and evaluation of the sustainable tourism activities developed in Mediterranean Ramsar Sites. With this project, she seeks to create and propose indicators to measure the impacts in each wetland under study. She has also worked with different academic projects on analysis, communication and planning for touristic destinations at the local and regional level, as well as public use plans for natural protected areas. Furthermore, she has been part of the Valencian Tourist Board as a trainee for the regional and national communication and promotion.
As a trainee in the MedWet team, she is working with the Communications Officer creating new contents for the website, as well as giving support in different social media campaigns (the Youth and Conservation campaign (read more here), the #WetlandsForAll campaign at IUCN Congress (read more here)). She has also worked together with the Coordinator to establish the links among the new MedWet Framework for Action 2016 – 2030 and the most important environmental conventions at international and Mediterranean level (SDGs, Aichi targets (CBD) and UNEP/MAP new strategy, read more here).
Professionally, she is interested in sustainable development and tourism issues, especially in projects that connect nature, culture, tourism and local communities as a way of improving human well-being. She is also concerned about issues related to education and tourism, as both of them are fundamental assets to address, especially with young people.
What are wetlands for the new MedWet team?
As the STN Manager, Flavio Monti, says: “Cradles of biological diversity, wetlands are an interweaving of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrate species that depend on water for accomplishing their life cycle and survival. Wetlands are high productive environments fundamental for the maintenance of biodiversity and which deliver every day multiple benefits to millions of people all around the world”.
For Abderrahim, wetlands are life, hope and deliverance. As he affirms, conserving wetlands means conserving the existence of human beings, as they can be the solution to facing climate change. In Abderrahim’s words: “We need to work and fight together to accomplish our duty with these essential cradles of life”.
“For me wetlands are natural areas for education and recreation, places that combine nature and culture in a perfect way”, Beatriu says. “It is where young generations can appreciate and learn how humans can live in harmony with nature, preserving it while using its resources wisely”.
They all agree that wetlands are places of colours, traditions and life stories that leave an important mark on those who live in contact with such habitats. Every wetland is a place to preserve, an ecosystem to secure through generations.
Flavio Monti, STN manager
Abderrahim Smari, Communications assistant
Beatriu Soler, Communications trainee
LinkedIn: Beatriu Soler Soler