Unknown Mediterranean hotspots recognised by Ramsar wetlands convention

Source: WWF

An important initiative of Greece leads to the adoption of a resolution for the “Conservation of Mediterranean Basin island wetlands”

Greece brings to the spotlight the urgency to conserve the fragile island wetlands of the Mediterranean, through a resolution that was unanimously adopted on June 8th by the plenary of the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on Wetlands of international significance (Ramsar, Iran, 1971).

The resolution, which was submitted by Greece (Ministry Of Environment, Energy and Climate Change) in 2014, starts with the recognition that “the Mediterranean Basin is a global biodiversity hotspot and hosts one of the largest groups of islands in the world with a rich history and varied cultural values, while it remains one of the leading tourist destinations in the world”. It consequently “calls upon Contracting Parties in and around the Mediterranean to address urgently the significant human-induced pressures threatening island wetlands through effective and decisive legislative or executive measures and other actions which apply a precautionary approach that would prevent the destruction of island wetlands, while developing more long-term and integrated strategies or plans, so as to ensure the conservation of their biodiversity, and the maintenance of their hydrological, cultural and social values”.

This important development is the outcome of a decade of systematic work by WWF Greece, aimed at conserving the fragile wetland hotspots and defending them from the mounting human induced pressures. The immense values of island wetlands include shielding coastal areas from erosion and desertification and protecting island communities from the impacts of climate change. They also form unique landscapes that add to the touristic attractiveness of Mediterranean islands.

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Island wetlands form unique landscapes in the Mediterranean islands. Lesvos, Greece. ©Kaloust Paragamian / WWF Greece

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