International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean

Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean
From Grado to Agadir: The next 20 years

International Symposium, Agadir, Morocco, 6-8 February 2012

The Ramsar Convention and its MedWet Initiative and the High Commissariat for Water, Forests and Desertification Control of Morocco  announce the organisation of an International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean, to be held from 6 to 8 February 2012 in the city of Agadir in Morocco. BirdLife International, IUCN, the Tour du Valat Research Centre, Wetlands International and WWF International are key partners in the organisation of the Symposium.

In February 1991, a first pan-Mediterranean conference on wetlands was held in the town of Grado, in northern Italy which adopted the goal to ‘stop and reverse the loss and degradation of Mediterranean wetlands’. This led to the implementation of important measures for the conservation and wise use of these unique ecosystems and the establishment of the MedWet Initiative (MedWet).

Twenty years after the Grado conference, this new International Symposium aims to review the current situation of water and wetlands in the Mediterranean, assess the new challenges and plan for the next 20 years. Important objectives are to assess the changes occurring in the Mediterranean and their potential impact on wetlands, to identify ways in which wetland resources can be used sustainably with a strong emphasis on water resources and to provide ways for closer cooperation between experts and actors in the Mediterranean involved in the water area, wetlands and other related sectors.

The Symposium will bring together experts from the  fields of water and wetlands, scientists, wetland managers, conservationists, policy and decision makers and other stakeholders involved in water management and wetland conservation and the sustainable use of wetland resources and services.

The meeting will include plenary sessions and workshops on key issues such as sustainable water resources management, climate change, wetland services, cultural heritage, wise (sustainable) use of wetland resources and the services provided by biodiversity. There will also be a field trip of the Souss Massa Ramsar site, a workshop of young “experts” on Mediterranean wetlands, various exhibitions related to wetlands of the Mediterranean region, presentations of local products and various cultural visits in the Agadir region.

The Symposium will provide the opportunity to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention, as well as the 20th anniversary of MedWet Initiative.