Organized by the Region of Tanger-Tétouan-AlHoceima, the MedCOP Climate 2016 gathered representatives from Mediterranean countries, including the private sector, civil society, and regional and international organizations.
More than 2000 participants from committed organisations, cities and regions, companies, policymakers, civil society organisations, research / training centres from 22 Mediterranean countries were present. Their task was to make the Mediterranean actors’ commitment concrete by preparing an operational road map for mitigation and adaptation, by enriching the global climate solutions agenda, and by promoting coalitions of stakeholders.
Download the MedCOP Programm here.
The conference is a milestone for the Mediterranean countries to discuss the Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015, while preparing for the upcoming COP22 which will take place from 7 to 18 November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. This COP22 is now the climate COP of Action, with the significant challenge of bringing together stakeholders into a dialogue for action and involvement from governments and civil society.
Watch the closing ceremony of the MedCOP here.
Nature Based Solutions
The Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MedWet/Tour du Valat), together with IUCN-Med, RAC/SPA, the High Commissariat from Morocco and the Conservatoire du Littoral (France), participated in a side event on “Protected Mediterranean areas: natural solutions to deal with climate change”, highlighting the ‘nature based solutions’ for adaptation and mitigation.
Mediterranean wetlands are one of the most sensitive ecosystems to climate change but they are also recognised for the services that they provide to help in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. Wetlands are the earth’s natural sponges – capturing water, then filtering and storing it on the surface and in aquifers, preventing dangerous flash floods, until water is released gradually for people and nature to use. They are strong natural shock absorbers–minimizing the effects of unpredictable weather events, blocking turbulent wind and water and preventing erosion on the coast and inland. Wetlands also keep salt water from entering coastal soil so food can grow.
But it’s not just protection wetlands provide: they are also natural temperature regulators, warming and cooling the climate around them, creating a safe haven for life to thrive.
Healthy wetlands provide all these priceless services, but they’re under threat. Since the 19th century, fifty percent of all Mediterranean wetlands have disappeared at an alarming rate due to urbanization, creation of artificial wetlands and agriculture. Now it is time to act by preserving and restoring wetlands in healthy conditions, so as to preserve their good ecological functioning and the services that they provide to people.
Watch the MedWet cartoon on the wetlands services here.
The other results from this MedCOP were the adoption of a declaration on gender equality and climate change; the importance of education on climate change with the creation of an engaged young people network in the fight against the climate changes; and the adoption of a regional charter including nine objectives for territorial entities, including connection with the SDGs.
For more information, visit the MedCOP Climat website here.