Under the auspices of the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition (formally part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment), MedWet organized a meeting in Malaga (Spain) on 28-29 June 2018 as strategic moment of the preparatory activities for the MedWet/Com 13 which will be held in Dubai during the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13). The representatives of the MedWet countries came together in Malaga to discuss the ongoing work of the Initiative and think collectively about the next steps for its future.
Mr. Miguel AYMERICH HUYGHUES, the MedWet Focal Point in the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition, gave the welcoming address, proposing three main key questions to guide the management of MedWet: 1) a stable and attractive structure; 2) a good work plan; and 3) concrete results to be presented every year to the members.
The MedWet Secretary, Alessio Satta, presented a brief overview of the ongoing activities of MedWet and the achievement of the past three years regarding the strategy for the future challenges. This was well received by the participants, who requested that the PowerPoint presentation be uploaded in the website. Find the presentation here.
Some of the participants stressed the idea that MedWet should reinforce its successes in capacity building by developing more training activities for the benefit of wetland managers.
See our previous article about the training on “Visitor management in protected wetlands” organised in Segovia (Spain) in 2017.
The first session aimed at developing consensual recommendations on the following questions:
- How MedWet could contribute to better fulfilling member countries’ commitments and obligations towards the Ramsar Convention and the present challenges?
- How MedWet could provide services, and what services, to its state members, individually and to the Mediterranean region as a whole?
- How MedWet could better engage its members, and be closer to the needs of the countries and other members?
This session recommended:
- To define the needs of the countries in terms of capacity building;
- To focus on concrete activities and in particular on the wetland managers network and capacity building;
- To make MedWet activities more visible and to prepare a monthly newsletter to inform the MedWet countries.
On this basis, the Secretariat should prepare a Strategic Work Plan 2019-2021.
The second session was designed to reach consensus recommendations on the following questions:
- How could the participation of countries be improved in MedWet governance, in order to create a better balance between the different actors involved?
- How could the MedWet governance be simplified and streamlined?
The Conclusions of this session were:
- To keep the existing governing structure;
- To explore how members could contribute to the work of the Secretariat;
- To update the Terms of References (ToRs) and better define the responsibilities of each body;
- To increase the number of video conferences, with at least one physical meeting of the MedWet/Com every three years; and
- To explore how to involve the Mediterranean regions and other local communities.
To respond to these conclusions, the Terms of References and rules of procedures will be updated and a proposal will be prepared on how to involve the administrative regions and other local communities.
The third session of the meeting focused on the following questions:
- How could the administration of MedWet become more effective and financially sustainable in the long term?
- Is there an alternative to a stable and timely contribution from members?
- Are there any restrictions/obstacles preventing members from paying timely their annual contributions?
The conclusions of this session were:
- To maintain the Secretariat as a physical autonomous structure in Tour du Valat;
- To update the current Terms of References to include the agreed baseline budget (€ 160.000 / year) and the core team to be secured: the Coordinator (half time); the Financial and Administrative Officer; and the Communications Officer;
- To define a new scheme of countries’ contributions according to the Ramsar approach and the updated UN Scale of contributions by its Member States. The baseline budget to achieve should be € 160.000 / year and the minimum contribution from countries € 515; and
- To define the ToRs for the MedWet Coordinator for a period of three years to be approved at Ramsar COP13 in October 2018.
MedWet would like to thank Miguel AYMERICH, from the Spanish Ministry of Ecology, and Antonio TROYA, from the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med), both for organising and hosting the preparatory meeting in Malaga. MedWet would also like to thank the whole team, particularly Chini, Arantxa, Ana and Maher for all the assistance provided to all the participants before and during the meeting.
We believe we had a good and constructive meeting, the atmosphere was really excellent and we do trust that we’ll have support from all the MedWet/Com members for the future steps to Dubai.
Alessio Satta, Secretary of MedWet