Festival Arena, Dubai (UAE), 21 – 23 October 2018
The Mediterranean Wetlands Committee (MedWet/Com), the governing body of the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet), met in Dubai (UAE) at the margins of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) held in this city on 21-28 October 2018.
The MedWet/Com meeting was attended by 19 member countries of MedWet, three conservation organizations that are also Committee members, the Ramsar Secretariat, and a number of observers. It was conducted by the Committee Chair, Dr. Gordana Beltram (Slovenia), assisted by Mr. Jean-Marie Quemener (France) as Co-Chair, the MedWet Secretary, Alessio Satta, and other members of the MedWet Secretariat.
The meeting adopted the report of the Secretariat on the activities carried out since the last meeting, held in Paris (France) in February 2016, as well as the report of the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO), the technical and scientific body that provides support to MedWet. The majority of participants expressed satisfaction with the progress that was made since the last meeting and with the publication by the MWO of the Mediterranean Wetlands Outlook 2 (MWO2). Serious concern was expressed about the persistence of wetland loss in the Mediterranean, as shown in the MWO2 report.
The meeting also adopted the MedWet Strategic Work Plan 2019-2021 prepared by the Secretariat, which will be implemented through annual work plans (see the draft of the Work Plan here).
The MedWet budget and the yearly contributions of the MedWet member countries were adopted, with Italy reserving its right to review the level of its contribution each year. It was also decided to request the Ramsar Conference of the Parties to include the MedWet budget and the country contributions to MedWet as an annex to the draft resolution on Ramsar Regional Initiatives. The Resolution was accepted and approved by the Conference.
After considerable discussion on the MedWet Terms of Reference, the meeting decided to keep the current version approved by MedWet/Com12 in Paris in February 2016 (find the Terms of Reference here). The meeting also adopted the Terms of Reference of the MedWet Coordinator and the recruitment procedure, registering the objection of Italy to the fact that the post of MedWet Coordinator will be at 50% of the time. The vacancy was announced immediately after the meeting with a deadline to submit applications by 26 November 2018.
Tour du Valat presented to the MedWet/Com the Mediterranean Wetlands Alliance and its objectives. The meeting acknowledged the existence of the Alliance and its potential to contribute effectively to achieving MedWet’s mission, and authorized the MedWet Secretariat to act as a permanent observer to this network.
Finally, the meeting elected the members of the MedWet Steering Group, as the governing body in between meetings of the MedWet/Com expressing its deep appreciation to the outgoing Chair, Dr. Gordana Beltram and thanking her for her invaluable contribution during the period of 2016-2018. It was also decided that France, the country hosting the MedWet Secretariat, represented by Mr Jean-Marie Quemener, will chair the MedWet/SG until the selection of the new MedWet Coordinator. When this is done, Tunisia, represented by Ms Hela Guidara, will Chair the MedWet/Com and the MedWet/SG until the closure of the next MedWet/Com meeting.
During Ramsar COP13, the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory, functioning under the umbrella of Tour du Valat and the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (MedWet), unveiled the publication of the new report Mediterranean Wetlands Outlook 2: Solutions for sustainable Mediterranean wetlands (MWO2). The report showcases the status and trends of Mediterranean wetlands and the possible solutions to preserving them.
More information about the report here.
MedWet has also published its new institutional brochure “MedWet, a community working for Mediterranean wetlands”. The brochure, available in English and French, explains the MedWet mission, objectives, modus operandi, and context.
Download the brochure here.
THE REPORT OF THE MEETING IS HERE.
Alessio Satta, Secretary of MedWet