CODDE, the new MedWet series: Inventory, assesment and monitoring of Mediterranean wetlands (manuals available)


Read and download the latest development in the MedWet program  for inventorying activities which is improved in its operation and enhanced to include socioeconomic and cultural aspects of wetlands, the Water Framework Directive requirements, inventory based indicators, the Pan-Mediterranean Wetland Inventory and Earth Observation techniques.


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Wetlands are important water-related ecosystems, providing a number of services to human societies, such as flood control, water storage and purification, climate control, and development opportunities including fisheries, agriculture, tourism, and many others.

Sustainable development depends on the knowledge of decision makers about the existence of environmental resources in any region. By securing the provision of easy-to-use knowledge on the ecosystems and the functions and services they provide to society, as well as the needs they have for appropriate management through long-term planning, decision makers can address priority issues so that a long term viability of the ecosystems can be secured, coupled with the sustainable generation of income and employment for local people.

The Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative of the Ramsar Convention (MedWet), as a permanent network of collaboration and provision of scientific knowledge to all Mediterranean countries has launched the MedWet/CODDE project under the INTERREG IIIC programme, in order to provide regions with a tool that will support decision making on regional development activities, based on the knowledge of how many water related ecosystems exist in their territory, and which are the benefits they provide to people and the pressures they need to be protected from.

Four Mediterranean based organisations active in science based wetland management that form part of the MedWet network will exchange knowledge with Estonia based Tartu University to build on and advance the existing MedWet inventory method, focusing on the use of modern technology information tools such as remote sensing, web databases and GIS. Their collaboration will result in a web based information system for easy storage, retrieval, and processing of wetland data on the location, ecological characteristics and socio-economic importance of water related ecosystems.


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 Four Mediterranean based organisations active in science based wetland management that form part of the MedWet network will exchange knowledge with Estonia based Tartu University to build on and advance existing  methods for inventorying wetlands. Their collaboration will result in an innovative web-hosted tool providing easy to use information on the location, ecological characteristics and socio-economic importance of water related ecosystems.

Designed to assist towards reporting against the European Water Framework Directive  as well as the Directive for the protection of sensitive Habitats the project will contribute to facilitating improved wetland management in line with goals adopted by European Union member countries.

Remote Sensing and Satellite Imaging will be among the new features to be incorporated into the inventorying tool.  Data on the location and surface area of wetland systems will be derived from satellite images in Serbia and Cyprus will be processed and stored on the internet hosted tool. Additionally data on wetland inventories from another four Mediterranean countries will be organised, customized and stored on the tool as a start up basis of information to assist towards monitoring and reporting on the state of Mediterranean wetlands.

Training offered to local and regional authorities in the Mediterranean basin will aim to disseminate information on the new tool and encourage its use.

Donwload project documents describing individual components:

Exchange of existing knowledge and expertise on inventorying water related ecosystems in order to revise the MedWet inventory method for meeting new EU obligations and adapting new technologies (Earth Observation products)

▪ Establish mechanisms for data exchange focusing on earning state’s obligation producing protocols and developing tools (web based information system)

Argue governments on the needfulness of their participation in the network for inventorying and monitoring water related ecosystems and convince them to store their inentory data sets into the MedWet web information system in order to fulfill the aim of reversing wetland damaging

Seek the involvement of the European dimension (ie wetlands could be set as a separate priority topic in the framework of Water directive)


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The MedWet inventory method was developed during the MedWet 1 (ACNAT) project and presented in the Pan Mediterranean Wetlands Conference, Venice, 1996 marking the closure of the project. Since then, many countries have applied it using the MedWet Database for storing their national data on wetlands.

However, most of these attempts have not been undertaken with a view to create a common knowledge base on Mediterranean water-related ecosystems. As a result there has not been an attempt to link together these efforts. At the same time MedWet is currently putting increased effort to further promote this tool through big or small projects led by MedWet partners (MedWet 2, MedWetCoast, Albanian Wetland Inventory, INTERREG/MEDOC and SUDOE projects etc). During these projects it became obvious that the MedWet inventory method should be updated in order to incorporate information in line with the European legislation (Water Framework Directive) and to adapt state-of-the-art technologies on inventorying, monitoring and data management and processing.


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 Agenzia regionale per la protezione ambientale della Toscana (ARPAT)
Instituto da Conservação da Natureza (ICN)
Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat
The Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY)
University of Tartu
The MedWet Secretariat acts as a lead partner in this project. Based in Athens, Greece, the MedWet Secretariat works to ensure exchange of information and a coherent approach in the activities of the MedWet Team and provide secretariat services. The Secretariat  also assists cooperation between members of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee.


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Mediterranean Wetland Inventory: A Reference Manual
L T Costa, J C Farinha, N Hecker, P Tomàs Vives
Mediterranean Wetland Inventory: Data Recording
N Hecker, L T Costa, J C Farinha, P Tomàs Vives
Mediterranean Wetland Inventory: Habitat Description System
J C Farinha, L T Costa, G Zalidis, A Mantzavelas, E Fitoka, N Hecker,  P Tomàs Vives
Mediterranean Wetland Inventory: Photointerpretation and cartographic Conventions
G C Zalidis, A L Mantzavelas, E N Fitoka


Closing Conference, 17-18 March 2008, Athens,  Greece: i) Agenda ii) Registration Form iii) Information about the venue

Workshop on remote sensing tools for wetlands inventorying, 2 April 2006,  Thessaloniki, Greece: i)Agenda ii)Minutes

Towards a Pan Mediterranean Wetland Inventory, A Feasibility Study
MedWet/Com6, Tipaza – Algeria, 13 December 2004, Pere Tomàs-Vives / Station biologique de la Tour du Valat, Thanasis Partozis – Eleni Fitoka /Greek Biotopes Wetland Centre, EKBY

The Pan Mediterranean Wetland Inventory, Description – 2006

The Pan Mediterranean Wetland Inventory, Datasheet

Towards a standardised methodology for inventorying and monitoring Mediterranean wetlands using Earth observation’ by Keramitsoglou I., Kontoes C., Sifakis N., Haffner-Sifakis Chr., Fitoka E., Christian R.R., Serebryakova A., Tomas-Vives P. , Kouvelis S., Dimiza A. – PDF 263 KB


Leaflet on the Training Course on MedWet Tools for Wetland Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment 12- 15 December 2007,  Thessaloniki, Greece – PDF 138 KB

Call of interest for the development of a Data Exchange Protocol for the MedWet Web Information System

Call of interest for the development of a framework for the application of Earth Observation technology in the monitoring of wetlands

SitesThe different tools developed by the project are tested in a number of sites. The revised inventory datasheets and the online database are tested in s’Albufera de Mallorca, Balearic Islands and Camargue, France.  Pilot projects on wetland identification using remote sensing tools are carried out in Serbia and Cyprus.
Starting Date: JAN 2005
End Date: DEC 2007
Duration in months: 36
Co-financing Agency

European Union, Funding Instrument: ERDF, Community Initiative INTERREG III C Sud Programme

Lead Partner

MedWet Coordination Unit, Greece


Partner 1

Name: Goulandris Natural History Museum – Greek Biotope / Wetlands Center (EKBY)

Country: Greece


Fondation Sansouire – Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat Country: France

;”>Partner 3

Name:Instituto da Conservação da Natureza (ICN)

Country: Portugal

Partner 4

Name: Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione Ambientale della Toscana(ARPAT)

Country: Italy

5 Name: Geography Institute, Tartu University

Country: Estonia

Budget1.461.075,00Co-financing Agency/ Institution:1.095.806€ERDF contribution
Partners:418,743,75€National contributions

* Exchange of current knowledge and expertise on methods of inventorying and monitoring wetland ecosystems with a view to revising MedWet Inventory tools (updating them with new fact sheets and novel tools) in line with new EU regulations and incorporating new Earth Observation technologies

* Create mechanisms for exchange of data encouraging participation of states, exchange of data protocols and for the development of tools such as online information systems

* Encourage stakeholders and decision makers to respond to needs and utilize opportunities provided within a network in order to develop inventories and monitor wetland ecosystems within the context of sustainable development

Anticipated Results

* A key tool for the management and sustainable development of wetland ecosystems is to be developed through collaboration of a large number of experts who will hold 10 regional workshops

* Through use of the new tool by the posting online of related methodology and data bank open to all interested parties

* Strengthened exchange of knowledge, information and best practices among a network of experts to be accomplished through collaboration of experts on development and implementation of such tools

* Convene meetings involving a total of 100 regional decision makers over four workshops in order to disseminate the tools and sensitize the public to the benefits of the methodology

Actions / Activities

* Revising of the MedWet Inventory to add new data records on water quality, socio-economic and cultural aspects and on indicators regarding status and tendencies as well as to incorporate new Earth Observation tools to monitor environmental variables

* Create mechanisms of electronic dissemination of information and communication ensuring information security

* Establish the development of an online information system aimed at encouraging the participation of European organisations active in this field and acting as a web-bank of inventory data

* Disseminate information on the use and benefits of the tools to encourage their adoption for the management and sustainable development of wetland ecosystems and support their adoption by decision makers

Reporting / Meetings

Five meetings were held:
i-ii) in Thessaloniki, Greece, 20-21 January and 15-16 May 2005
iii) in Alcochete, Portugal, 20-22 July 2005
iv) Athens, Greece 9-11 February 2006
Thessaloniki, Greece 2 April 2006

The first progress report was submitted on 12/10/05.

RemarksThe inventorying tool to be developed through CODDE will  advance and build on the information system tool for inventorying wetland resources produced within the MedWet SUDOE project.
PressGroup monitors Greek wetlands ( 13_01_06)