MedWet assess efforts for conservation wetlands and propose the AGADIR Commitments for the next 20 years

13 February 2012 | News story

The International Symposium on Water and Wetlands has taken place from 6 to 9 February in Agadir (Morocco) under the high patronage of HM King Mohammed IV. It was the opportunity to review the progress on wetlands conservation since the Grado meeting in Italy in 1991 and to define the road map for the next twenty years.

The International Symposium on Water and Wetlands has taken place from 6 to 9 February in Agadir (Morocco) under the high patronage of HM King Mohammed IV. This Symposium, opened by HM the Princess Lala Hasnaa, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention and the 20th anniversary of MedWet. It was the opportunity to review the progress on wetlands conservation since the Grado meeting in Italy in 1991 and to define the road map for the next twenty years.

The Symposium gathered more than 200 participants who provided interesting debate and a strategic approach to each of the six themes discussed. All Mediterranean organizations and experts working on Mediterranean wetlands were present.

The Secretariat of Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) participated in the 6 debates, focused on ecosystem-based approach, human pressures, wetland services, climate change, cultural and biological values. One of the main conclusions on the last session on biodiversity values, conducted by Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA) of UNEP-MAP and IUCN-Med, was the need for more research on the value of the services provided by wetlands. These values refer to aspects such as services, including existence, ecological functions, production and genetic values. Research results need however to be communicated to all stakeholders (public and private) and the knowledge on wetland biodiversity organized by country and accessible to all, probably through a database linked to the Mediterranean Wetland Observatory. It was also recommended that the value of wetland biodiversity be recognized by national administrations and included into national legislation in view of compensation for damage and degradation.

After several years of development, the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory has been able to launch the 2012 report on progress concerning the protection of Mediterranean wetlands in the last twenty years. This report will be regularly produced to assist governments, international organizations and experts in their conservation efforts.

More Info: Alain Jeudy de Grissac