The International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean – From Grado to Agadir: The next 20 years, was held in Agadir, Morocco, on 6-8 February 2012, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the wetland symposium held in Grado, Italy, in 1991, which launched the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative. MedWet was the first regional initiative associated to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) and consequently, the Agadir International Symposium was also a fitting occasion to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Convention.

The Agadir Commitments list is one of the major outputs of the Agadir Symposium. The programmes and projects inscribed in it – with the approval of the main actors concerned – are a concrete contribution to wetland conservation and wise use in the Mediterranean Basin, with the key objective of creating synergy. They represent activities that are on-going, just starting or being planned, promoted by national governments, regional and international organisations, civil societies, the private sector and donors aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of water-related ecosystems in the Mediterranean. They concern policies, strategies, administrative measures, legal instruments and frameworks, initiatives or measures at the local, national or regional level. Smaller projects at the national level, led by government authorities, NGOs or the private sector, are also included and encouraged in this list as long as they contribute to the conservation and wise use of water-related ecosystems in the Mediterranean in an exemplary manner.

The role of the MedWet Initiative is to monitor the activities on the Agadir Commitment list and to encourage the exchange of information among those responsible for their application. Promoting synergy and best practice will be achieved through networking, common actions, sharing of lessons, capacity building, strategies, policies and transboundary coordination. Finally, this grouping of projects and their monitoring will facilitate the identification of complementarities between them and will help to disseminate as widely as possible their thematic, progress and results

The Agadir Commitments are also a contribution to the Changwon Declaration as well as the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2009-2015, as decided in the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP 10), which was held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, from 28 October to 4 November 2008. In addition, the Agadir Commitments are directly connected to the four axes of the MedWet Strategic Vision also approved in Changwon in 2008:

  1. Improving the knowledge on Mediterranean wetland functions, services and values, as well as on their status and trends.
  2. Promoting, developing and implementing national wetland policies and inter-sectoral action plans
  3. Ensuring the sustainable integrated management of wetlands
  4. Moderating the impact of climate change.