The website of the International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean is now online

The International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean ‘From Grado to Agadir: The next twenty years’ will be held in Agadir, Morocco from 6 to 8 February 2012. The hosts of the Symposium are the Ramsar Convention and its MedWet Initiative as well as the High Commissariat for Water, Forests and Fight against Desertification of Morocco. Key partners in the organisation are important actors in wetland conservation such as BirdLife International, IUCN, the Tour du Valat research centre, Wetlands International and WWF International.

The International Symposium’s website is now online and can be accessed through the following URL and through a direct link in the MedWet website. The new website provides all required information concerning the programme, the objectives, the partners, registration and more, and will be updated on a regular basis to keep you informed of the latest developments. It also features a detailed history of the 1991 International Symposium on Wetlands that was held in Grado, Italy, which has become a benchmark for the protection of Mediterranean wetlands. You can read about the Grado Declaration, which led to the establishment of the MedWet initiative and find out how it has provided the incentive for the current Symposium, twenty years later. You will also find related video interviews of key figures in wetlands conservation who have participated in the Grado 1991 Symposium talking about their experiences, the lessons learned and the expectations from the Agadir Symposium.

The aim of the 2012 symposium is to review the current situation of water and wetlands in the Mediterranean, assess the new challenges and plan for the next 20 years. As stated by Thymio Papayannis, Chair of the International Organising Committee and Senior MedWet Advisor in his video interviewtwenty years have gone by and we need to assess the situation, first of all we need to see what are the new challenges, and that will be the key element of Agadir.s How things have changed in the Mediterranean? What are the new problems that have to be faced?  But also we have to see in a positive manner what are the opportunities, because we have new partners now…”, The vision for the Agadir 2012 International Symposium then, is that “all the participants will contribute in obtaining a new consensus and direction that will be valid for the next twenty years”

Apart from plenary sessions, the meeting will include, a field trip of the Souss Massa Ramsar site and the following six thematic workshops on key issues that affect wetland ecosystems, their functions and values. Each one of them will be co-organised by both an internal and an external partner organisation with the best relevant expertise in each topic. 1. Water resources management and wetland services
2. Adaptation to climate change
3. Human pressures and wetland services
4. Values of wetland cultural services
5. Sustainable use of wetland resources
6. Wetland ecosystems biodiversity and its values

Please reserve the dates now, so you can join us from the 6 to 8 February 2012 in Agadir, Morocco. Also,  make sure you bookmark the site and return for further information, regular updates and the latest news about the upcoming “Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean” 2012 International Symposium.

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