The Mediterranean island wetlands (MedIsWet) project moves ahead

Based on the experience acquired in the project “Conservation of the island wetlands of Greece” (2004-2013), implemented by WWF Greece and thanks to the support from the MAVA Foundation, the Mediterranean Island Wetlands project (MedIsWet) aspires to establish a network of NGOs, institutes, universities and public authorities.

The project includes actions for the completion of the inventories of all the Mediterranean island wetlands, dissemination of knowledge and promotion of certain conservation measures in local, national and Mediterranean scale.


MedIsWet presence at the 9th European Ramsar Meeting (ERM9)

Eleven MedIsWet partners participated at the 9th European Ramsar Meeting which was organized in Olomouc (Czech Republic) on 19-23 March 2018 in preparation for Ramsar COP13 to be held in Dubai next October (read our article about the ERM9 here). An interactive session entitled: Mediterranean island wetlands (MedIsWet) project: Implementing the Ramsar Resolution XII.14 was held, with a presentation by Thanos Giannakakis (WWF Greece) followed by discussion.


Thanos Giannakakis (WWF Greece) presenting the MedIsWet project. Photo credit MedWet


In addition, the MedIsWet partners were able to explain their progress on each of the site projects through the production and presentation of scientific posters. At the end of the meeting, all participants were invited in the ‘’Med tasty corner’’ to taste the Mediterranean delicacies.

Then, some of the project partners have shown their short wetland videos during a film competition. Sardinia presented its dune restoration film, while the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) presented its cartoon showing the precious services that Mediterranean wetlands are providing (see the cartoon here). WWF Spain presented its video ‘’Doñana’s Beating Heart’’ which was the winner of the competition. The video highlights the importance of Doñana National Park, the threats it is facing and the story of the ones who are giving their lives to help protecting the park.





Download the presentations here:

– The MedIsWet project: Implementing the Ramsar Resolution XII.14
– Conservation of Island Wetlands of Turkey, Step 1: A preliminary analysis
– The wetlands of the Balearic Islands
– Census of Cypriot wetlands
– Implementing the Ramsar Resolution XII.14 in France and Italy
– Wetland management and conservation in Malta- a case study
– Water pearls of the Adriatic Islands, 1st systematic Island Wetland Inventory in Croatia




Mediterranean Island Wetlands: launch of the project in Croatia

The Association Hyla and WWF Adria, responsible for implementing the MedIsWet activities in Croatia, launched the project on 27 March 2018 in Zagreb. During the event, Thanos Giannakakis, Project Coordinator, explained the experience of WWF-Greece in the protection of wetlands.  The government views on wetlands conservation was introduced by representatives from the Ministry and Agency in charge of environmental issues.


Launch of the MedIsWet project in Croatia by the Association Hyla and WWF Adria. Photo credit: Association Hyla


‘’Despite the great benefits offered by our natural rivers and swamps, it is estimated that 64% of wetland habitats in the world have been lost in the last 100 years. In particular, wetland habitats on islands, which are “islands inside the islands” and rich oases of biodiversity, are endangered’’, said Irma Popović Dujmović, Project Manager at WWF Adria.

Implementing activities within the MedIsWet project will contribute to better regulation and sustainable management of wetlands in the Mediterranean islands, which will include Croatia , one of the first countries to fully implement the Ramsar Convention Resolution XII.14 on Mediterranean Island Wetlands,” added Ivana Sučić from the Association Hyla, Coordinator of the MedIsWet project in Croatia.

Read more about the event here (in Croatian language)


Presenting the MedIsWet project during an event held in Croatia. Photo credit: Association Hyla


Field research starts in Croatia

From 27th to 30th March, the Croatian team together with Thanos Giannakakis, the Project Coordinator, visited Krk Island. They detected 20 wetlands larger than 0.1 ha on the island. Most of them are in a favorable state, but coastal areas are exposed to great pressures of tourism and urbanization, so the coastal wetlands are much more threatened.


The MedIsWet team is working at Krk island. Photo credit: Ana Štih/Association Hyla


The field team has noted the case of Soline marsh which is under extreme pressures of human activity, and part of the habitat has already been degraded or transformed into tourist purposes (waterfront, volleyball court, umbrellas, sand filling for beach…). This situation provides scope for action to urge local authorities taking steps to stop the destruction of these valuable ecosystems.


The MedIsWet team is working at Krk island. Photo credit: Ana Štih/Association Hyla


Action on the ground in Turkey

On 14-15 February 2018, WWF Turkey implemented the first field trip for the project in Gokceada Lagoon, the most significant Turkey’s island wetland with prominent threats. The team carried out the field survey of mid-winter waterbird counts (15 January-15 February) and evaluated the situation of wintering birds with a systematic approach. The previous mid-winter count was carried out in 2006, when 1000 flamingos were found, while this year the team counted as much as 750 individuals.


MedIsWet welcomes its new members

MedIsWet is proud to announce that its working partner team is growing: Eva Tankovic, the new Project Officer for the Mediterranean Small Islands Initiative (PIM) will be in charge of the Corsican pre-inventory and she will also coordinate the projects in Sardinia and Sicily (on behalf of PIM). In Addition, two more associates have joined WWF North Africa: Imen Rais is the new Freshwater Project Officer responsible of all MAVA’s projects in Tunisia (Island wetlands, Ghar el Melah, etc) while Khouloud Ben charfi will work specifically for the MedIsWet project in Tunisia.



More information

Visit the website of MedIsWet

Read the MedIsWet newsletter of March 2018

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Thanos Giannakakis

MedIsWet project coordinator, WWF Greece