Decision makers, donors and managers discuss key issues for Mediterranean wetlands in Jordan

Azraq wetland. ©Hazem Al Hreisha, RSCN

Decision makers, donors and managers discuss key issues for Mediterranean wetlands in Jordan

November 24, 2022

Today, MedWet is working continuously to expand its network of “MedWet Managers”, which now includes more than 40 managers across the Mediterranean. These managers have benefited from numerous trainings thanks to the support of the MAVA Foundation, which have been mostly online due to the pandemic conditions of the last two years.

Last October, for the first time, after months of impossibility due to the covid pandemic, MedWet was able to bring together decision makers and donors, on the one hand, and wetland managers from different regions of the Mediterranean basin, on the other hand, for two days of workshop and field visit rich in learning and exchange.

This meeting, which took place at the Al Azraq nature reserve in Jordan in the framework of the ‘Wetland-based Solutions’ project, aimed to raise awareness of the many challenges of wetland conservation in the Mediterranean and the urgency to act to restore them.

The managers, coming from different countries, notably Egypt, Malta, Montenegro, Tunisia and Turkey, presented their respective sites, their case studies, the on-the-ground solutions that are being experimented with for the restoration of their sites, their success stories and their vision of the challenges they are facing and how to tackle them.

The choice of the site for the workshop, the Azraq, in the middle of the Jordanian desert, and the presentations by the managers allowed the decision-makers to better understand how much the conservation and restoration of wetlands are linked to the enormous challenge that access to water represents in the Mediterranean today. Beyond the purely technical aspects of wetland management and restoration, conserving these unique water territories for the well-being and livelihood of populations requires more than ever an integrated approach including locally all sectors of the economy that depend so closely on water resources, i.e. the agricultural, fisheries and industrial sectors, planners, urban planners, etc.

The workshop revealed that only the involvement of all stakeholders, including local authorities, through a system of good local governance, will ensure the sustainability of wetlands through sustainable and equitable water management. The key to success is wetland conservation and restoration that is people-centred, by people and for people. Decision-makers and donors have understood this message and that it requires their long-term political and financial support.

This meeting was not only a moment of exchange between managers and decision-makers/donors but also an important moment for the MedWet team, which collected important recommendations for the effective continuity of the network.

Here are some managers´ recommendations for undertaking successful wetland restoration.

During the workshop, MedWet conducted some interviews that were aiming to emphasize the importance of networking and the exchange of experiences between managers in the MedWet Managers Network and to draw inspiration from wetland restoration cases implemented in the Mediterranean.

MedWet also conducted interviews with policymakers with the goal of gaining an understanding of their organization’s role in protecting Mediterranean wetlands, their expectations for the workshop, and their potential support for initiatives like the MedWet Managers Network in the Mediterranean region. The questions aimed to uncover the policymakers’ perspectives and potential involvement in preserving the wetlands in the Mediterranean.
 

 


Here are some photos of the field visit to Al Azraq reserve:

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