The Mediterranean basin hosts a mosaic of coastal wetlands of high ecological value that are critical in the life of millions of people living there thanks to the vital services they provide. They make communities resilient in the event of extreme weather events and help to minimize the damage from these hazards. They protect us against flooding, serve as buffers against saltwater intrusion and erosion, delay the onset of droughts by storing water, reduce the impact of storm surges and tsunamis, and are vital carbon sinks, etc.
Unfortunately, insufficient awareness about the fragile conditions of these ecosystems, together with the impacts of climate change and human activities, is at the root of many threats causing their fast decline and the loss of their functions. Fully 48% of wetlands in the Mediterranean basin have disappeared since 1970, according to the ‘Mediterranean Wetlands Outlook 2’ report. The most productive ecosystem on the planet is also the most endangered. There is great urgency to act to prevent, stop, and reverse the loss of Mediterranean wetlands, including coastal ones!
In order to turn the tide for Mediterranean coastal wetlands and prevent them be wiped off the map, a consortium of 14 international organisations joined forces and launched the “Off Your Map” campaign, coordinated by MedWet. This initiative was a part of the MAVA Foundation strategy in the Mediterranean region on coastal wetlands.
The campaign aimed:
- to improve the understanding of coastal wetlands’ characteristics;
- to raises awareness for the critical role played by coastal wetlands, as resilient Nature-Based Solutions, in the fight against climate change;
- to boost the recognition of coastal wetlands’ benefits (economic, social, cultural and environmental), and of the threats affecting them; and
- to influence key policy processes in favor of the effective sustainable use, integrated management and conservation of coastal wetlands at national and regional levels.
- Coastal wetlands of Oristano, Sardinia, Italy.
- Ghar el Melh lagoon, Tunisia.
- Bojana-Buna delta, Albania and Montenegro.
- Ulcinj salina, Montenegro.
In this initiative, MedWet was joined by an impressive list of twelve partners: BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, DiversEarth, GWP Med, IUCN Med, MedINA, MedPAN, PAP/RAC and Plan Bleu (UNEP/MAP), Tour du Valat and the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory, Wetlands International, MEDSEA Foundation and WWF. Those organizations worked closely and effectively together in promoting the Mediterranean coastal wetlands.
Website of the campaign: http://offyourmap.org/
Duration: Phase 1: 2017 – 2020
Budget: 408 600 €