Why do we need a Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands?

The Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands, formally established in January 2017, recognises the key role that civil society can play in protecting wetlands, and the need to encourage it.

Several recent victories bear witness to this, notably in Turkey (Gediz delta) and Montenegro (Ulcinj Salina). In Gediz, the Doğa association has won in its struggle against a monumental bridge project in Izmir Bay, an area that is essential for the populations of Greater Flamingos and many other birds (more information). The environmental protection associations in Montenegro have succeeded in having the Ulcinj Salina added to the list of national protected areas, and shortly after the area was added to the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance (more information).

This context gives hope for the possibility that civil society organisations in the Mediterranean Basin can raise public awareness and gain strength in their fight for the protection of the environment and wetlands.

According to its terms of reference:

The Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands aims to raise collectively the profile of wetlands in the Mediterranean society at large and in particular in national, regional and international policy through the promotion of their sustainable use, based on innovation and evidence-based best practices as catalyst for change.

Objectives

To achieve its mission and ensure its overall impact and effectiveness, the Alliance aims to:

  • Exchange and share in a multi-directional manner between the members of the Alliance available knowledge, sources, experiences, best practices, information on model sites, and more;
  • Build the capacity of the wider civil society so that its members can become more effective in wetland management and conservation activities;
  • Effectively link local, national, and regional stakeholders and initiatives through innovative concrete joint actions on prioritised policy and strategic topics;
  • Increase the public profile of wetlands through joint communication using scientific knowledge and concerted messages around the value of wetlands, their multiple advantages and the benefits they provide to people and the potential solutions they hold in response to global changes, including climate change.

Members of the Alliance

To date, the Alliance brings together 24 members from associations and scientific research organisations who are doing their best to protect the environment in the Mediterranean Basin. It is a flexible network, which aims to expand to welcome new motivated members.

Communications by the Alliance are provided by the Tunisian Ornithological Association (AAO), while a scientific and technical committee is coordinated by the Moroccan Research Group for the Protection of Birds (GREPOM), and Doğa Denerği (Turkey) is developing a red alert system. The Alliance Secretariat is based at the Tour du Valat, which also organises its steering committee meetings.

Current projects include (see project description):

  • An exchange platform to facilitate coordination and communication between members with the aim of ‘community building;’
  • A ‘red alert’ system to sound the alarm when a wetland is in danger in the Mediterranean Basin;
  • Numerous training courses with different partners on topics such as: How can we identify threats to a site? How can we further environmental education? How can an observatory be set up?

We invite you to follow the Alliance’s latest news and contact us if you need any additional information!

Contact and additional resources

If you want to learn more, please visit the Alliance for Mediterranean Wetlands Facebook page or contact us at this e-mail address.

You can also download the Alliance’s Terms of Reference and Charter below.