Working together for the future of Mediterranean Wetlands
Palais de la Porte Dorée, Paris (France), 7 – 10 February 2016
The French Ministry of Ecology will host the 12th Meeting of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee in Paris on 7-10 February 2016 at the Palais de la Porte Dorée.
The meeting will bring together government officials, national and international organizations, and wetland experts from all Mediterranean countries to discuss a Framework for Action 2016-2030 « Wetlands for Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean Region ». Minister Ségolène Royal will be closing the meeting and will formally launch the Framework for Action at a ceremony to which all Mediterranean country Ambassadors to France and to UNESCO are being invited, together with representatives of French institutions working in the region.
The Framework proposes more than 80 actions to stop the degradation of wetlands, to recover those that are still possible to bring back to good conditions, and to facilitate the sustainable use of the services and resources provided by these ecosystems.
Wetlands are one of the planet’s greatest and most misunderstood natural resources. They play an important role in the supply and the maintenance of the good quality of fresh water, serve as green infrastructures to reduce the impact of floods, and have an important role in the mitigation of the impacts of climate change. They are also a source of food and raw materials for many local communities, habitat for many species, and in many cases an attraction for tourism.
The Framework has been designed as an early contribution to helping countries to achieve some of the Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations in September 2015. It is expected that with an active engagement of the Mediterranean countries and the donor community, by 2030 well-managed wetlands will have made a significant contribution to the well-being of people in the region and to the effective functioning of the natural systems, especially the water and climate cycles, which are essential for sound socio-economic development.
The Committee meeting in Paris is the decision-making body of the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) established more than 20 years ago to stop the loss of wetlands in a region where water resources are extremely scarce. Yet urbanisation, infrastructure development and the increase of agriculture have caused the disappearance of these aquatic systems and with them the important services that they provide to nature and people.
MedWet is one, and the first, of the 15 regional initiatives of the Convention on Wetlands, an international treaty that brings together 170 countries and was signed in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar (thus, the treaty is known as the “Ramsar Convention”). At its last meeting held in Uruguay in June 2015 the Ramsar member countries approved a Strategic Plan for the period 2016-2024. MedWet aims at effectively implementing the Ramsar plan in the Mediterranean by mobilizing governments, civil society organizations, research centres and the donor community in a common effort to bring about a more sustainable and long-lasting development.
Download the press release (Word doc)
Maïlis Renaudin, MedWet Communications officer,
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