The general approach

The MWO approach consists of redefining, in conjunction with the MedWet Secretariat, the MedWet countries and the multilateral environmental agreements, the information on Mediterranean wetlands that is most relevant in terms of effectively influencing decision-making.

This approach, involving the dissemination and transfer of information, requires the production of new indicators, an improved use of those that already exist, and, in the case of subjects where information is already sufficient, the production of summaries.

With this perspective, the MWO will focus on:

  • the production of key scientific and technical information on Mediterranean wetlands, in collaboration with the relevant partners;
  • the development of these partnerships in order to assure the adequate and effective dissemination of this information; and
  • the promotion and management of the MedWet Scientific and Technical Network.

The MWO’s Strategic Plan is in line with the 4th Ramsar Strategic Plan adopted by the Conference of the Parties in June 2015, and directly contributes to the MedWet Work Plan 2016-2017.

Progress is currently being made with the MedWet Secretariat in order to reinforce the dissemination of the results of the MWO’s research and analysis at both national and international levels.


Main priorities for 2016-2020

Among the set of indicators defined by the MWO, five areas have been identified as :

  1. Wetland ecological services in the Mediterranean region. In this project the MWO will analyze the ecosystems services related to a) the production of resources and tourism attraction (in relation with the Biodiversity sub-project); b) the production of freshwater; and c) the regulation of the water cycle (with the Water sub-project).
  2. Monitoring biodiversity in Mediterranean wetlands. Biodiversity is a central issue in Mediterranean wetlands and provides important resources to human societies. The status of biodiversity results from the direct and indirect management impacts, notably hydrological changes, eutrophication, harvest of populations and climate change.
  3. Water. Water is a key resource for wetlands and human societies. The information on water and wetlands will be synthesized in relation to the analysis of the ecological services and biodiversity.
  4. National and local wetland observatories. Both local and national observatories will receive support when they provide data to the MWO and/or contribute to the conservation and wise use of Mediterranean wetlands.
  5. Wetlands and sustainable development. Governance indicators and the socio-economic characteristics of countries will be compiled and made available to other researchers as variables that can help explain the indicators linked to biodiversity and water. Country and subregion-based studies will focus on the causes of the pressures on wetlands in order to identify means to influence decisions.

A Synthesis of results. Capitalizing on the results in each of these areas, crosscutting analyses and comprehensive reports and syntheses will be prepared and disseminated widely.

B  Database management and web mapping. The Department is creating a bank of spatial databases and making the links between them to facilitate their use for the purposes of comparative analyses. Web mapping will be developed so that the main comprehensive data on wetlands in the Mediterranean Basin are available to a wide audience on the Internet.



The transfer activities will be developed in close collaboration with the MedWet Secretariat, and will make an important contribution to synthesizing information on wetland conservation and policies, notably through the MedWet Country Profiles, and to enhancing the advocacy activities that are part of the TdV’s communication strategy.

Within the current context of different governance arrangements in the Mediterranean Basin, characterized by diversified levels of decentralization and the promotion of a participatory approach for development and conservation, a wide range of stakeholders now influences conservation and development decisions.  Given the current crises affecting some countries of North Africa and the Middle East, the future developments of governance systems remain uncertain. However, when possible, the MWO’s priority targets will be:

  1. the international and regional organisations and conventions (notably Ramsar and MedWet, the CBD, AEWA and the Barcelona Convention); and
  2. the national and international NGOs, if they are able to adapt the MWO’s results to their specific contexts, disseminate them to their target audiences, and use them for their conservation activities.

Research centres are important partners for the MWO’s activities, both for the scientific validation of its results and for increasing its capacity to deliver new results. More contributions from a revived MedWet STN will be sought.