Established in 1991, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative brings together 27 Mediterranean and peri-Mediterranean countries that are Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971). Palestine and a number of organizations and wetland centres are also part of the MedWet Initiative.
The different entities of the MedWet Initiative, as established in its Terms of Reference, are:
- The Mediterranean Wetlands Committee
- The MedWet Steering Group
- The MedWet Scientific and Technical Network
- The MedWet Secretariat
List of members of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (February 2016)
List of members of the Steering Group (February 2016)
In 1999, the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention formally recognized MedWet in its Resolution VII.22 in the following terms: “APPROVES the establishment of the Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com) within the framework of the Convention, as a forum for collaboration on wetland issues in the Mediterranean and as an advisor to the Convention in this region.” (See the resolution document here on Ramsar website).
In 2002, the Ramsar COP adopted Resolution VIII.30, in which, inter alia, “ENDORSES the Guidance for the development of Regional Initiatives in the framework of the Convention on Wetlands presented in Annex I to this Resolution; … RECOGNIZES the critical importance of financial and political support from Contracting Parties of the region to the MedWet Initiative, and especially from the host country of its Coordination Unit 〔Greece〕; … REQUESTS the Secretary General to ensure that the experience of the MedWet Coordination Unit and its partners will be at the disposal of other regional initiatives as required and in the most appropriate form.” (See the resolution document on Ramsar website).
By now, the Ramsar Convention has recognized 15 Regional Initiatives, which are governed by specific Guidelines adopted by the COP. These Guidelines are currently being reviewed by the Ramsar Standing Committee, as requested by Ramsar COP12 (Uruguay, 2015).
MedWet works with a large number of partners in the region and participates in the promotion and execution of specific projects to further its mission.
Core funding for MedWet is provided by its member countries and, at present, by grants from the MAVA Foundation and the French Water Agency Rhône Méditerranée Corse.