MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region
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Lagoons and coastal wetlands in the global change context. Impact and managment issues
Venice, Italy
Monday 26 April 2004, by Web Team

The conference will provide an interdisciplinary forum to share and exchange knowledge and experiences on recent developments in wetland science and global change. The aim is to identify gaps, problems and successes in the integration of global change issues into lagoon and coastal wetland management.

This conference will:

- foster multidisciplinary studies and integrated approaches to coastal wetland conservation;
- be an opportunity to share knowledge on the current functionality and structure of wetlands and to better understand potential feedbacks to the global system;
- provide quantitative information for the economic evaluation of wetlands and cost-benefit analysis to facilitate public authorities’ decision making and increase the reliability and efficiency of policy measures;
- promote collaboration and interaction between scientists from different fields, countries and/or wetland areas;
- disseminate results at different levels: scientists, public administrators and policy makers, as well as raising public awareness. Specific objectives are:
- to improve understanding on wetland-climate interactions and on climate change impacts;
- to foster discussions on coping strategies to deal with climate change impacts;
- to provide case studies of wetlands with differing vulnerabilities to climate change and human-induced stresses and diverse management systems;
- to identify research priorities and information needs;
- to suggest structural and non-structural measures for mitigating impacts, conserving ecosystems and restoring functions

The conference covers the following themes:

1. Function and value of lagoon and coastal wetlands. Functions refers to physical, chemical and biological interactions within wetland systems. This session will focus on the main ecological functions associated to lagoons and coastal wetlands and their significance to society. The pivotal role of wetlands in coastal processes, river basin management and sea-climate interactions will be highlighted.

2. Driving forces, climate change impacts and feedbacks: Wetlands already face critical problems due to increasing natural and humaninduced stresses. Climate change is likely to severely affect coastal wetlands through variations in mean sea level, precipitation patterns, hydrodynamics, river flows, sediment inputs, water salinity, water temperature, and the frequency and magnitude of extreme events. Papers are invited which contribute to an improved understanding of lagoon and wetland processes and dynamics, and of how climate, policy and socio-economic pressures drive changes in coastal wetlands ecosystems. Wetland feedbacks on climate will also be considered.

3. Indicators and indexes, risk assessment, monitoring strategies and techniques: This theme will focus on the definition of relevant indicators and indexes to detect and monitor changes in lagoon and coastal wetland systems. This includes consideration of scale from local to global. Better indicators and indices are needed to better understand wetland current status, degradation and future trends and to support appropriate management decisions to prevent accelerating wetland loss.

4. Adaptation, mitigation strategies and sustainable use: Probably the main challenge for contemporary wetland management is the definition of adequate adaptation measures and mitigation strategies to global change and their integration in a broad scheme of wetlands rational use and planning. This theme will explore the key processes controlling wetland responses and wetland elevation and some effective adaptation strategies to cope with climate change. Restoration techniques, conservation policies and socio-economic issues such as adaptive capacities within societies and institutions should also be considered.

For more information contact :
Consortium for Coordination of Research Activities Concerning the Venice Lagoon System
Palazzo Franchetti,
S. Marco 2847
30124 Venice - Italy
Tel + 39.041.2402511
Fax + 39.041.2402512
email :

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