Wetlands are of vital importance in the Mediterranean region, both for biodiversity and for human societies. Their ecological, geographical and historical specificities give way to an exceptional biodiversity and a production widely exploited by Man. Their functioning contributes to many services, particularly their contribution to a sound management of water resources, both qualitative and quantitative.
However, wetlands are still too often considered to be areas that must be “cleaned up” and “developed/promoted”, on the basis of the old, but die-hard notion that they are a “health hazard” and of no value. In much of the Mediterranean Basin, they are first of all considered to be competitors for water, which is becoming rarer and rarer and more and more highly coveted, in particular in the coastal region.
The increasing anthropogenic pressures have an important impact on them, in particular due to:
- a loss in their surface area, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean region
- lost or deteriorated functions, throughout the region
- fragmented habitats isolating biodiversity in smaller and smaller bands within a network of infrastructures and urbanisation, particularly in the coastal strip
The programme 2011-2015 is comprised of three complementary projects:
- Conservation of species and their populations in the context of global changes
Support the conservation of species and the management of conflicts between these species and human activities.
- Ecosystem modelling, restoration and management
Analyse the consequences of global changes on the biodiversity, functioning of wetlands and uses, and propose methods for adaptive management and restoration.
- Monitoring and evaluation & wetlands policies
Change the way decision-makers react so as to benefit wetlands by raising their awareness and providing them information on the status and trends of wetlands.