Nineteen Countries involved in the 3rd International Meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory

60 people – representatives of governments, NGOs, research centres and also from Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Convention on Biological Diversity and the MedWet Initiative – met at la Tour du Valat, from 7 to 10 February, for the 3rd international Partners and users workshop of the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO). One goal: act together to preserve the future of Mediterranean wetlands. The countries involved  were Germany, Algeria, Belgium, Canada, Spain, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Monaco, Palestinian Authority, Netherlands, Portugal, United-Kingdom, Tunisia, Turkey.

Coordinated by the Tour du Valat, the MWO aims to become a major tool in monitoring and assessing the state of conservation and the evolution of wetlands in the Mediterranean Basin. Thanks to a wide partnership between different countries, the Observatory is going to compile and improve the knowledge on wetland ecosystems – in particular the monitoring of indicators on a Basin scale – and will help decision-makers and site managers to take concrete measures to protect them.

This workshop focused on:
– Reviewing the activities that took place in 2009 and the current ones;
– Informing on the first results of the Mediterranean wetlands monitoring and evaluation needs assessment in MedWet countries;
– Specifying the work schedule over the period 2010-2011;
– Making progress- thanks to working groups- on indicators, the structure of the 1st MWO report, pilot-sites project on biodiversity and the communication strategy.
– Strengthening MWO institutional structure by agreeing on a partnership agreement model (MoU) and by validating the system of governance of the Observatory.
– Identifying the respective contributions expected from each partner towards MWO.

Four main projects will be carried out this year:
– the collection and analysis of data for about 10 out of the 22 identified indicators, with the  support of all our technical, institutional and financial partners
– the refinement of indicators for two themes of the Observatory;
– the preparation of the first Observatory report on the status and trends of the Mediterranean wetlands.
– the communication plan and the adapted tools: the next stage is the launch of our website in June 2010.

The first results of the Observatory will be published at the beginning of 2011 in a report which will be the widely disseminated with focus on decision-makers, site managers and also the public at large through web site and media.