International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean: Assessing the current situation of wetlands through facts, figures and projects

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 Symposium will offer the opportunity to asses the progress made concerning the protection of wetlands in the last twenty years, to discuss the new challenges faced by Mediterranean wetlands and to plan for the future in a collaborative manner.

Landscape from the Souss Massa National Park in Morocco (Photo credit: Alexis Katsaros/MedWet)

In order to review the current situation, the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) will present its findings in their first report, a three-year study to monitor the status and trends of Mediterranean wetlands based on five themes. From this technical report, a summary was produced for policy makers. Analyzed within a strategic framework and political context, it summarizes the main conclusions and draws key messages. These reports are intended to push wetlands issues higher in the national and international political agendas.

In addition, hands-on, innovative projects implemented by national and international organisations on water-related ecosystems in the Mediterranean will be showcased during the Symposium. There will be a poster session where the participants will be able to learn more about these projects and discuss with their executives. The best posters will be awarded a prize by a three-expert international jury. This session will provide an overview of the hands-on work in place at the moment or planned for the near future and will inspire greater synergy and focus towards the wise use of Mediterranean wetlands.

To review the new challenges, six thematic workshops will be held on key issues that affect wetland ecosystems such as water issues, human pressures and wetland services, adaptation to climate change, values of wetland cultural services, sustainable use of wetland resources and wetland ecosystems biodiversity and its values. These workshops will be facilitated by external partners with expertise on each issue and will conclude with a plan for the conservation and wise use of wetlands until the year 2032.

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.

For more information on the International Symposium please visit