The Specialist Group on Climate Change of the MedWet Scientific and Technical Network (MedWet/STN) held its first meeting in Kerkennah, Tunisia, on 19-20 December 21017. It was hosted by the Association Tunisienne des Sciences de la Mer (ATSmer) in parallel with the Conference “XVII Journées Tunisiennes des Sciences de la Mer” (17th Tunisian Workdays on Sea Sciencies).
This is one of the five Specialist Groups constituting the MedWet STN. It is made up of experts in a wide variety of disciplines, who contribute to different aspects of the issue: modelers, specialists in wetland ecology (ecologists, climatologist, hydrologists, soil scientists, etc.), in the management of natural resources and land use planning and specialists in remote sensing, mapping and in the management of spatial information,
The objectives of the MedWet/STN/SG/Climate are:
- To summarize the research results on climate change in the Mediterranean region and their implications for the functioning and management of wetlands and their resources;
- To produce communication documents for decision-makers in the Mediterranean countries, accompanying the implementation of the MedWet Framework for Action; and
- To boost the development of projects for the prevention to or adaptation to climate change.
The meeting started with two scientific presentations ‘’Climate drivers of environmental change in the Mediterranean region’’ by Piero Lionello, and ‘’Vulnerability of coastal wetlands to sea level rise’’ by Maria Snoussi. The presentations were followed by a discussion of the following main points:
- The importance of linking the MedWet/STN/SG/Climate with the other Specialist Groups (SG) to achieve inter-group coherence;
- The importance of sharing knowledge with different audiences by using several parallel strategies and tools;
- Identifying the future capacity building activities, financing and targeted audiences;
- The main messages to be delivered to the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (Ramsar COP13); and
- Completing the Work Plan of the MedWet/STN/SG/Climate.
The morning of the second day was devoted to a field trip to wetlands of the Ramsar Site Kerkennah Archipelago. The site includes several islets and permanent shallow marine water at the North-eastern end of the Kerkennah Islands. It is a significant wintering ground for migrating birds including waterbirds and shoreline bird species.
The scientific presentations:
‘’Vulnerability of coastal wetlands to sea level rise’ ’ by Maria Snoussi.
‘’Climate drivers of environmental change in the Mediterranean region’’ by Piero Lionello.
Chair of the Climate change Specialist Group of the MedWet/STN
Maria Snoussi, PhD
Professor, Mohammed V University
Manager of the MedWet/STN
Dr. Flavio Monti