The MedWet Steering Group met for its ninth meeting in Athens, Greece on the 27 and 28th of January 2011. All eight members were present for the meeting giving the Steering Group (SG) full quorum and leading to a very productive meeting. There were four members representing the governments of four countries, namely, the Chair Emmanuel Thiry for France, Maen Smadi for Jordan, Mohammed Ribi for Morocco and Katerina Stylogianni from Greece. Also present were Tobias Salathe from the Ramsar Secretariat, Alain Jeudy de Grissac (Marine Conservation Programme Manager, IUCN-Med) as a representative of International Organisation Partners and Jean Jalbert (Director of the Tour du Valat) as a representative of MedWet wetland centres. The agenda, report and conclusions of the meeting are available here in English and French.
The most important decision taken by the SG was the designation of Nejib Benessaiah as Coordinator of the MedWet Initiative for the period 2011-2012. This decision is the culmination of a process that began on January 2011 when the Chair of MedWet Steering Group sent a letter to all MedWet/Com members proposing the designation of the current Interim Coordinator as full MedWet Coordinator and requesting comments on this proposal. At the date of the Steering Group meeting, twelve written answers were received by the secretariat, eleven of which were positive. This selection followed a closed door interview of Nejib Benessaiah by the SG members which can be transmitted to the MedWet/Com members by the Chair of the SG, upon request. Further explanations on the procedure are given in the report in sections 3.6 and 3.7 (download in English or French).
The rest of the meeting was focused on reporting the MedWet Secretariat activities, on improving the operation of the MedWet Initiative and on the 2011 MedWet workplan. The MedWet Secretariat had prepared a set of Working and Information documents which was noted with satisfaction by the SG members. Briefly, the SG approved the 2010 budget and endorsed the 2011 proposed budget. Decisions were taken on the structure and criteria for eligibility of the MedWet Scientific and Technical Network, for the operation of the Steering Group and for the venue of the Grado+20 Symposium. Specific actions were also decided concerning the 2011 workplan which was viewed in line with the “MedWet Strategic Workplan 2009-2012” as decided in Changwon during the Ramsar COP9 and the parallel MedWet/Com9 .
Click on the photos to see some pictures from the meeting.