The project

This project takes place in three Mediterranean countries: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. It began on 1 April 2014 for a period of 3 years financed by the MAVA Foundation. It includes several partner organizations, namely the WWF Mediterranean Programme (WWF MedPO), the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet), the Tour du Valat / Observatory of Mediterranean wetlands (TdV/ MWO) and Wetlands International (WI).
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to promoting the conservation and sustainable participatory management of selected priority wetlands in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia through the development and capacity building of an active and efficient community of society civil in the three countries: the MedWet network of Civil Society.

Background
In North Africa, the wetlands of high ecological value are threatened because of human activities (waste, overfishing, urbanization, drainage for agriculture, etc.), reduced management actions, weakness integration in territorial planning and segmentation between development and conservation.

The wetlands in this region include representative or rare habitats (estuaries, chotts, coastal swamps, mountain lakes, oases, etc.). The three selected countries are home to many important sites ranked on the list of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention (in February 2015: Algeria possesses 50, Morocco 24 and Tunisia 41).

The project plans to create a platform in collaboration with a group of civil society organizations (CSO) from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, to strengthen the knowledge and monitoring of targeted sites for conservation and sustainable management of wetlands.
The project allows to continuously assess the status and trends of selected priority wetlands * and provide timely results to targeted users such as Ramsar focal points of the three countries and local administrations. Socio-economic dimensions of biodiversity, habitats, and causes of change, water management and ecosystem services are investigated. Finally the project will establish a knowledge transfer phase to other emerging civil society in these three countries.

The project, newly renamed “Wetlands sentinels in the Maghreb: the MedWet Network of Civil Society”, improves the information and communication with all stakeholders: governments, civil society and experts in the field of water and wetlands. It also allows to develop a strategy with non-governmental organizations (NGO) and countries in the process of policy development related to the use and conservation of water and wetlands. Finally, the project plans to work on harmonization of efforts, avoid duplication, and set a common position and vision in the North African region.

The results

The main results up to date, are the selection of six civil society organizations in each country (18 in total).
A first project presentation meeting was held in Hammamet, Tunisia, on 19 and 20 November 2014, in parallel with the Ramsar Regional Meeting for Africa. The 18 organizations present were able to sign the “Commitment Charter” as part of the draft MedWet community of civil society in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
For World Wetlands Day 2015, a joint poster has been prepared for organizations of the three countries on the theme of the Ramsar Convention: “Wetlands for Our Future” with the implementation of outreach activities in the region.
Three consultation meetings and introduction to the collaboration between the three groups of associations with their respective administrations Ramsar focal points were held in January and March 2015.
The project will be presented at the COP12, during a side event with the participation of the CSO network to better familiarize themselves with the Ramsar Convention, and to see the possibilities of better application of it in the three countries.

* The sites selected

Morocco: Site of the Moulouya, Lake Dayet Aoua, Wetland Dayet Roumi, Wetland Sidi Boughaba Marshes Fouwarat.
Algeria: wetland complex Guerbes-Sanhadja, Sebkha of Oran, Lake “Oglat Eddaira” Lake Réghaïa, wetlands of El Kala National Park.
Tunisia: Sebkha Soliman, Korba Lagoon, Lagoon Ghar el Melah, The Sebkha of Esijoumi, Wetland complex of chott el Guetayet, Sebkhet Dhreia, Oued Akarit, Oued Melah and Oued Rkhama.

Next steps

Establish a capacity building plan for the project partner associations including the needs analysed during the first phase of the project.
Consult on a monitoring protocol target sites.

Contact

Ghofrane TRABELSI

Project Officer

Tel: +216 71 707 238

Mob: +216 97 967 754

Fax: +216 71 701 750

Email: gtrabelsi@wwftunis.org

WWF MedPO

WWF North Africa Office

B, 4 Immeuble Ben Sassi

Av. Ahmed Khabthani

2080 – Ariana, Tunisia

Funding partner

MAVA LOGO

Partners

partners MWSCO project newMW

Partner’s civil society organisations (list here)