MARISTANIS celebrates World Wetlands Day 2018 in Sardinia

Protection of the environment and development: a combination that is possible and achievable with an innovative policy in the wetlands of Sardinia.

This year, Sardinia celebrated World Wetlands Day (WWD) with a rich variety of events in the framework of the MARISTANIS project being implemented in the Gulf of Oristano and the Sinis Peninsula. The project is funded by the MAVA Foundation and implemented by the MEDSEA Foundation in collaboration with the Sinis Marine Protected Area, with the active involvement of partners and municipalities.

The WWD events developed the theme “Wetlands for a sustainable urban future”, bringing together the need to protect wetland ecosystems and ensuring their sustainable use.


Coastal wetlands: a resource to be enhanced

On 29 January, Emanuela Manca, sociologist, and Maria Pina Usai, architect, of the MEDSEA Foundation and Salvatore Sanna, Vice President of FederParchi, were guests on Radio X and talked about the MARISTANIS project and the value of wetlands by discussing the theme ‘’Coastal wetlands a resource to be enhanced’’. Listen to the Podcast in the Italian language.


Meeting of Emanuela Manca, Maria Pina Usai (MEDESEA) and Salvatore Sanna (FederParchi) with Radio X. Photo credit: MEDESEA & Radio X


Wetlands for a sustainable future: the commitment of environmental associations in Sardinia

In the cloister of Carmine in Oristano, a round table was organized gathering environmental organizations, such as WWF Italia Nostra, Lipu, Legambiente, MedWet, AFNI, Association Parco di Molentargius, WWF, Federparchi, Earth Gardeners and GIROS. During the event, the speakers discussed the theme “Wetlands for a sustainable future: the commitment of environmental associations in Sardinia “.


A round table organized in the occasion of WWD 2018, gathering environmental organizations in Sardinia. Photo credit: ALEA Ricerca & Ambiente Soc. Coop


During the conference “Wetlands and sustainability of the urban systems: Sardinia and other case studies”, organized by MEDESEA Foundation in collaboration with the DICAAR department of the University of Civil and and environmental Engineering and Architecture of Cagliari, held in the fishfarm “Mar’e Pontis” of Cabras, an important statement has been launched.

We are certainly talking about environmental protection, which is a priority, but this is not incompatible with everything that we want to do within the wetlands: to boost production activities, to encourage the tourism development and sports activities, to safeguard the workforce employed in economic activities, and promote new and qualified employment. A great resource to be protected, therefore, but making of it a new opportunity for development for our region“, says Raffaele Paci, the Vice President of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia.


The Gulf of Oristano in the heart of the WWD 2018

On 2 February, Alessio Satta, the Secretary of MedWet, Vania Statzu from MEDESEA and Raffaele Paci from the Autonomous Region of Sardinia were interviewed by RAI3 TV to talk about the MARISTANIS project and the initiatives for wetlands around the Gulf of Oristano, the Sinis Peninsula, and the Mediterranean as a whole.

Watch the video here.


Field visits to wetlands in Sardinia

From the 2nd till the 18th of February lots of field activities took many people to discover and enjoy the values of the wetlands.

A Birdwatching activity, with visitors from Alghero and Iglesias, was organized along the Pond of Cabras as part of the WWD celebration. Participants also visited the ”Giovanni Marongiu” Civic Museum – Cabras to learn about the 6,000 years of civilization among the wetlands of the Sinis Peninsula.


Birdwatching activity along the Pond of Cabras. Photo credit: ALEA Ricerca & Ambiente Soc. Coop


Another birdwatching activity was organised by Lipu at San Vero Milis from the panoramic area over the “Stagno di Sale Porcus”. This was followed by a guided tour and birdwatching in the Stagno ecosystem in Arborea along the” Stagno di S’Ena Arrubia” organised by WWF Oristano.


Birdwatching in the “Stagno di S’Ena Arrubia” in Arborea. Photo Credit: MEDESEA Foundation


A rich program of initiatives was developed by the Municipal Administration of Terralba in collaboration with the Associazione 3DNA, whose Borgata di Marceddì participates in the MARISTANIS project together with 11 other municipalities. Through an excursion, drawings, videos and hikes, nearly 120 school students of Terralba were involved in the celebration of WWD 2018.


Excursion to the Old Tower and the SCI “Stagno di Corru s’Ittiri” of Marceddi. Photo Credit: Associazione3DNA


The students had fun with the creative design workshops, creative video-making activities about the project, and a guided tour of the “Sea Museum” enriched by the wonderful testimony of the fishermen of the township. The day of activities ended up with all the kids participating in a short excursion up to the Old Tower and the wonderful SCI “Stagno di Corru s’Ittiri” of Marceddi.


Drawing activity by school pupils of Terralba, Sardinia. Photo credit: Associazione3DNA


During the visit the students were filmed and participated in the promotion video of the village sent to the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention.

We are proud to be part of this important project for our territories. Our day has been completely dedicated to the new generations in line with the values of sustainable development that we want to transmit. Above all, the objective for us is the social inclusion of sensitive individuals’’, says Giulia Carta, Councilor for Tourism, Entertainment, Sustainable Development, Public Education and Youth Policies in the Municipality of Terralba.


More information

The Event page

WWD celebration programme.

Read our previous article about the MARISTANIS project

The website of MARISTANIS project

Facebook page of the MARISTANIS project

The project “communication campaign on coastal wetlands” in the Mediterranean.



MEDESEA – Mediterranean Sea and Coast Foundation