A Mediterranean network for wetland scientists and technicians
To enhance the implementation of the Ramsar Convention across the Mediterranean region and contribute effectively to the conservation and management of Mediterranean Ramsar Sites, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) has established its Scientific and Technical Network (MedWet STN).
The MedWet/STN is a Mediterranean working team composed by scientists and experts on wetland-related issues from each Mediterranean country, respecting geographical, cultural and gender balances.
The main objectives of the MedWet STN are:
- to provide scientific and technical support to the MedWet member countries concerning their policies and actions related to wetland conservation and sustainable use;
- to encourage the establishment of scientific and technical networks forcusing on wetland-related issues in each MedWet country, in the form of National Wetlands Observatories or other appropriate arrangements; 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.
Its Terms of Reference have been approved during the 12th Meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com 12, Paris, France, 7-11 February 2016).
The full document describing the main objectives and modus operandi of the MedWet/STN and its Terms of Reference, as formally approved by the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com).
The five Specialist Groups
The MedWet/STN is working through five Specialist Groups (SGs) in the key areas where there is a need to improve the knowledge and managerial capacity related to wetland conservation and sustainable use.
These five key areas consist of:
- Biodiversity: to identify the knowledge gaps that prevent decisions being made to help preserve wetland biodiversity; this group will revise new red lists for Mediterranean taxa and collect the missing information required to identify new Key Biodiversity Areas;
- Inventories: to develop a harmonized database of the inventories of Mediterranean wetlands; this group will develop wetland inventories through the use of satellite-based systems to monitor wetlands and produce a harmonized database to be integrated into national legislations;
- Climate change: to investigate the implications of climate change for the functioning and management of wetlands and their resources; this group will evaluate the impact of climate change on wetlands and water resources and assess both carbon stocks in Mediterranean wetlands and the role of coastal wetlands in the mitigation of the consequences of rising sea levels;
- Water: this group will provide guidance on the key water-related issues that concern the integrity of the water cycle; and
- Ecosystem services: to increase awareness of the complexity of interactions between natural systems and society and related benefits; this group will convey information on the complexity of interactions between natural systems and society and their related benefits and provide recommendations on wetland governance for Mediterranean decision-makers.
The five Chairs of the Specialist Groups have been appointed on the basis of their previous work experience, scientific background and personal skills.
This is the five Chairs of the Specialist Groups in collaboration with the team of the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) (Tour du Valat/MedWet):
- SG Biodiversity: Violeta Barrios, IUCN-Med and Thomas Galewski, MWO
- SG Inventory: Marc Paganini, ESA, and Anis Guelmami, MWO
- SG Climate change: Maria Snoussi, Mohammed V University of Rabat, and Patrick Grillas, MWO
- SG Water: Stefano Barchiesi, IUCN-Global Water Programme, and Christian Perennou, MWO
- SG Ecosystem services: Özge Balkız, Doğa Koruma Merkezi Nature Conservation Centre, and Ilse Geijzendorffer, MWO
Composition and structure of the network
The network is constituted of Mediterranean experts, scientists and technicians with different skills and working experiences, to ensure a maximum background of expertise and knowledge on broad matters/topics related to wetlands.
The STN network can count so far on 54 people in total, including 5 chairs, 43 members, and 6 associate collaborators from the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) and MedWet. You can find here the list of members.
Gender balance has been respected, with 33 men (61.1%) and 21 women (38.9%) that constitute the network.
As much as possible, the geographical balance has been respected as well, with twenty-two different countries represented, of which 16 lie within the Mediterranean region. Six countries outside the Mediterranean region are included, but the members from these countries conduct researches on Mediterranean wetlands related-issues.
The network is understood to be an “open” instrument which can welcome other members. If you want to be part of the STN, you can contact the MedWet/STN manager (information below) and send your proposal to join the network. The proposal will be evaluated internally.
Dr. Flavio Monti
Manager of the MedWet/STN
c/o La Tour du Valat, Le Sambuc
13200 Arles, France