For an even more effective Ramsar Convention in its efforts to conserve the Mediterranean wetlands

This is a summary of the article “A More Effective Ramsar Convention for the Conservation of Mediterranean Wetlands” published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution by researchers from five institutions: 

The Mediterranean basin is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in terms of biodiversity and endemic species, especially plants. In this context, wetlands are of paramount importance: although they occupy only 2–3% of the area, they are home to more than 30% of vertebrate species. But these ecosystems are expected to be particularly impacted by global change while they offer nature-based solutions to buffer climate change impacts and ecosystem services for human well-being. Investments in the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands contribute to implement the Paris Climate Agreement and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Signed in 1971, the Ramsar Convention is the global agreement for the protection of wetlands. To date 170 countries are Parties to the treaty and almost 250 million hectares of wetlands have been designated under this agreement as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites).

Formally recognized as the first regional initiative of the Ramsar Convention, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet) aims to ensure and support the effective conservation of the functions and values of Mediterranean wetlands and the sustainable use of their resources and services. MedWet requested in 2008 the establishment of the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO), which has since been managed and hosted by the Tour du Valat (France). The Observatory has published two editions of the Mediterranean Wetland Outlook (MWO) on the state, trends and pressures of Mediterranean wetlands. The MWO2, appeared in 2018, highlighted ways to increase the impact of the Ramsar Convention and detected biodiversity trends, societal developments, estimated impacts of global change and the protection status of wetlands.

This article uses the results of the MWO1 and MWO2 to highlight ways to increase the impact of the Ramsar Convention on Mediterranean wetlands toward the future.

You can access the article here.

Bibliographical reference: Geijzendorffer I.R., Beltrame C., Chazee L., Gaget E., Galewski T., Guelmami A., Perennou C., Popoff N., Guerra C.A., Leberger R., Jalbert J., Grillas P. 2019. A More Effective Ramsar Convention for the Conservation of Mediterranean Wetlands. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution [Internet] [cited 2019 Feb 26]; 7. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2019.0002110.3389/fmicb.2019.00035


Mediterranean Wetlands Outlook 2 (MWO2): Solutions for sustainable Mediterranean Wetlands – 2018


The MWO2 is based on the analysis of 16 indicators related to wetland biodiversity, the ecosystem services they provide, the threats they are facing, and the actions taken by society to conserve and to sustainably manage them.

The report presents the socio-economic situation and trends in Mediterranean countries and the benefits and values of Mediterranean wetlands, and includes key messages for decision-makers.

The MWO2 underlines the consequences of the loss of wetland benefits for a rapidly increasing human population and its well-being. At the same time, it presents the positive responses offered by wetlands to benefit future generations of people and for biodiversity.

In spite of wetland value, the evidence presented in the MWO2 demonstrates that wetlands across the Mediterranean region continue to be threatened and destroyed by unsustainable human activities.


Download the full report here.