Wetlands Conference 2024: Navigating challenges and harnessing solutions for sustainable futures

Valencia (Spain) will become the focal point of global discussions on the international wetlands conference “Conservation and Management of Wetlands to Tackle Climate Change” to be held on 14-16 February 2024.



The event, organized by Fundación Global Nature together with the University of Valencia, the Generalitat Valenciana, and the City Council of Valencia within the framework of the European Green Capital 2024 Programme, will focus on sharing the latest scientific and technical advances on wetlands and climate change. Valencia holds the distinction of being the first Mediterranean city to obtain this prestigious recognition, which has been awarded by the European Commission since 2010. Furthermore, Valencia stands as the only Spanish city accredited as a Wetland City, a designation established by the Ramsar Convention.

Against the backdrop of Valencia’s designation as the European Green Capital, the Conference will explore the critical role of wetlands in addressing climate change and preserving biodiversity, with the Mediterranean as the focal point. The region, home to wetlands of both natural and cultural significance, faces mounting challenges such as degradation and loss exacerbated by the impacts of climate change. Alarmingly, the Mediterranean has lost more than 50% of its natural wetlands since 1970. Conference discussions will revolve around governance structures, green job opportunities, and the urgency of conservation efforts.

The conference will draw the participation of researchers, policy makers, representatives from international organizations, members of civil society members, restoration experts, university students, and private sector stakeholders. Facilitating international networking, the conference will serve as a nexus for sharing scientific and technical advancements, derived from various projects and initiatives. Knowledge of these advancements will equip practitioners and managers with the necessary tools for the sustainable management of wetlands, enabling them to make strategic decisions in the face of global change.

The MedWet Initiative will attend the conference in collaboration with LifeWatch ERIC as part of RESTORE4Cs, a Horizon Europe project aimed at assessing the impact of the restoration on wetland abilities to mitigate climate change and offer diverse ecosystem services. Along with LifeWatch ERIC, who oversees the project’s communication and dissemination, MedWet leads the action of RESTORE4Cs, which focuses on creating a European Community of Practice (ECoP) to connect institutions, policymakers, scientists, and the general public about wetlands restoration to support the implementation of the new EU Nature Restoration Law. Together, they will engage with the stakeholders in attendance at the conference to involve them in both RESTORE4Cs’ ECoP and documentary. This will be achieved through a series of targeted interviews that will be conducted throughout the conference and which will allow for the best possible mapping of the voices of the stakeholders who will speak out on the opportunities and successes of the project.

Other RESTORE4Cs partners, including the University of Aveiro, the University of Barcelona, the European Topic Centre at the University of Malaga, WasserCluster Lunz & University of Vienna, and Tour du Valat, will also attend the conference as members of the scientific committee.

For those unable to attend in person, the conference will be available via streaming. Further details about the event can be found on the official website:  www.conferenciahumedales.es