The MedWet Coordinator calls for promoting wetlands as nature-based solutions to fight climate change and to ensure human well-being

The 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) and its Protocols took place on 2-5 December 2019 in Naples, Italy.



The MedWet Initiative participated at this international event as an Observer.

In his intervention, Mr Alessio Satta, the MedWet Coordinator, highlighted the importance of Mediterranean wetlands and urged he Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to take into account a set of urgent priorities contributing to the conservation and wise use of wetlands, and the promotion of their values and benefits.




Statement of the MedWet Coordinator

Thank you Madame President,

(Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues ….)

The Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention by adopting the ICZM Protocol have committed themselves to implement its provisions for the Protection and sustainable use of the coastal zone (art.8) and in particular Wetlands and estuaries (art.10 point 1).

The evidence presented in the last Mediterranean Wetlands Outlook of the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative of the Ramsar Convention (MedWet) demonstrates that wetlands across the Mediterranean region continue to be threatened and destroyed by unsustainable human activities:

  • Almost 50% of wetlands in the Mediterranean basin have disappeared since 1970 … faster than in any other region in the rest of the world;
  • 36% of Mediterranean wetland species are now threatened with extinction;
  • 95% of the coastal wetlands, hosting more than 50,000 waterbirds, are threatened with submersion due to accelerated sea level rise.

Concerned about the loss and the continuous degradation of Mediterranean coastal wetlands, MedWet would like to bring to the attention of the Contracting Parties and the Secretariat the following urgent priorities:

  • to address coastal wetland loss and degradation as a priority of the Convention in the coming years;
  • to incorporate coastal wetland conservation and restoration into the current and future programme of work of the Convention;
  • to implement pilot projects on wetland restoration in the framework of ICZM;
  • to promote the role of coastal wetlands as nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change impacts and to provide environmental and socio-economic benefits to people locally and regionally; and
  • to adopt financial incentives and allocate sufficient funds for coastal wetland restoration and efforts to reinforce capacity building and public awareness of local authorities and other relevant stakeholders.

Thank you


More information

Read here our Policy Paper to the attention of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and Observers.
Find more about Nature Based Solutions (NBS) in the publication: “Outsmart climate change: work with nature! Enhancing the Mediterranean’s climate resilience through Nature-based Solutions”

Some photos of the MedWet participation at the Barcelona Convention COP21: