Over more than 30 years, MedWet has mobilised major partnerships and substantial funds to develop innovative methods and tools tailored to the realities and needs of the Mediterranean wetlands. It has also pioneered activities looking at wetlands in their wider context: cultural values, socio-economic aspects and land use planning. It also catalysed the establishment of the Mediterranean Wetland Observatory.
MedWet’s greatest achievement has been to establish a community of highly committed institutions and individuals who are dedicated to wetlands: scientists, decision-makers, technicians, academics, public servants and conservationists from all countries. This is an intangible but critical gain to be strengthened in the years to come.
The International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean, held in Agadir, Morocco, on 6-8 February 2012, marked the 20th Anniversary of MedWet. The Agadir Commitments and The Agadir Guidelines were the key outputs of this event.
Most significant projects in which MedWet has played a key role.
- World Wetlands Day implementation. Since 2019, the MedWet Initiative has been actively driving the celebration of World Wetlands Day (WWD) across the Mediterranean, supported by the French Biodiversity Agency (OFB). Notable achievements include the establishment of a network of local and regional civil society actors, the creation of effective communication tools in local languages, a call for projects supporting local initiatives, and strengthened collaboration with the Ramsar Secretariat, the Association Ramsar France, and Wetland Link International.
- Establishing the Network of MedWet Managers, the first of its kind in the Mediterranean region! It is a membership network of over 50 wetland managers dedicated to promoting best management practices, exchanging knowledge, and educating the public about the values and services of wetlands. The network provides resources and capacity-building opportunities to members, including workshops, training sessions, and expert advice. It is committed to collaboration and knowledge sharing, empowering our members to stay informed about the latest developments in wetland management and conservation.
- MedWet has played a crucial role in the development of two must-read handbooks that provide essential guidance on the management and restoration of Mediterranean wetlands. “The Governance of Coastal Wetlands in the Mediterranean: A Handbook” (2020) is a practical guide to the governance of coastal wetlands around the Mediterranean. The second handbook, “Restoring Mediterranean Wetlands” (2023), is a policymaker’s guide to sustainable management and conservation of water by 2030. These handbooks were created through a collaborative effort between various partners, with MedWet playing a crucial role in their development. They demonstrate MedWet’s commitment to collaborative approaches in wetland conservation, governance, and restoration.
- MedWet’s coordination of the Wetland-Based Solutions project, funded by the MAVA Foundation and labeled by the Union for the Mediterranean, demonstrated its exceptional ability to bring together more than 30 partners from 10 countries to work towards a common goal. MedWet acted as the project coordinator, facilitating communication and collaboration between partners to ensure that all objectives were met. MedWet was able to effectively manage the project’s timeline and budget while ensuring that each partner’s contributions were valued and integrated into the overall project strategy. The achievements through the Wetland-Based Solutions project serve as a model for effective collaboration and highlight the importance of partnership in achieving large-scale conservation goals.
- MedWet’s leadership and coordination of the ‘Off Your Map’ communication campaign on Mediterranean coastal wetlands, in partnership with a consortium of 14 international organizations, is a remarkable achievement. MedWet acted as the project coordinator, facilitating communication and collaboration between partners to ensure that the campaign’s objectives were met. MedWet effectively managed the campaign’s timeline and budget, while ensuring that each partner’s contributions were valued and integrated into the overall campaign strategy. Overall, MedWet’s successful coordination of the ‘Off Your Map’ campaign serves as a testament to its leadership, expertise, and dedication to wetland conservation. The achievements through the campaign demonstrate the power of effective collaboration and highlight the importance of partnership in achieving large-scale conservation goals.
- Creation of a wetland inventory system and database and a framework for planning monitoring programmes, with tools tested in five countries: France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, including components of management, training, public awareness and dissemination of results.
- Application of these tools in five non-EU countries: Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Morocco and Tunisia, with consideration of the socioeconomic aspects of wetlands.
- Conservation of wetland and coastal biodiversity in five countries: Albania, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia and the territory of the Palestinian Authority. It emphasized capacity building and relied on local expertise, which resulted in management plans for the sites in question.
- Extension of the MedWet Inventory System to nine regions in five countries: France, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and Spain.
- Updating the MedWet inventory methodology, including the use of GIS. The project resulted in a database and had a public awareness component.
- A capacity building project related to the socio-economic assets of wetlands. It resulted in management plans, environmental education centres, training and exchanges among the countries: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
- Water governance at the local level, with a participative approach as a means of resolving conflicts related to shared water resource in Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
- Updating the MedWet Inventory system in line with new EU regulations http://www.wetlandwis.net/
- Capacity building for two national NGOs to increase knowledge and capacities to work with stakeholders: Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan, and Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon.