Friday 24 March 2023 was an exceptional day for young people from the southern/northern shore of the Mediterranean. The online workshop organised by MedWet with the support of the French Biodiversity Agency (OFB) raised awareness among youth on the importance of wetland and Ramsar Site conservation for migratory birds in the Mediterranean. The event was held as part of the celebration of World Wetlands Day 2023, which had the theme this year: “It’s time for wetland restoration”.
The event brought together young people and environmental organizations from Tunisia and France. The Tunisian participants included two classes, 7th and 8th grade, from the Ghar el Melh college, as well as several partners: the Association des Amis des Oiseaux, the Association Tunisienne de la Vie Sauvage, and the Maison de la culture de Ghar El Melh. On the French side, the partners were the 4th B class of the Ferdinand Buisson College in Thiaucourt and the parc naturel régional de Lorraine.
The workshop kicked off with a comprehensive program presentation, followed by an introduction and a recap of essential notions such as Ramsar Sites and flyways. The participants delved into the significance of flyways for birds and were given concrete examples of mapped migration routes. They also learned about the protection schemes for migratory species.
The attendees were split into two groups. The first group included Tunisian participants with the Ramsar site of Ghar El Melh Lagoon, while the second group included French participants with the Ramsar site of Etangs de Lachaussée. Each group chose a migratory bird species to study and presented their results at the closing session. The Tunisian group studied the Great Cormorant, while the French group studied the common crane.
Both groups presented their research and shared their knowledge of the importance of wetlands for migratory birds in the Mediterranean. The youth engaged in lively discussions and exchanged ideas and activities around ornithology. The session closed with a joint reflection on the measures to be taken to restore degraded ecosystems.
In conclusion, this online workshop was an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of wetland conservation among young people, while giving them a better understanding of the challenges of bird migration in the Mediterranean. It was also an opportunity for the Tunisian and French partners to collaborate and share their expertise in this crucial field of biodiversity conservation. Investing in young people is important to ensure a sustainable future for the conservation of wetlands, migratory birds, and their habitats. We hope that this event will inspire young people to take concrete action in the future to protect our natural environment.
Download all presentations and the agenda of the event here.