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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Presentation of Project
by Sylvie Goyet

(JPEG) MedWetCoast is a regional United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project funded by the Global Environment Facilities (GEF) and the Fond Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM). Starting in 1999, the 5-year project works in 6 mediterranean countries . The overall goal to which the project intends to contribute is the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity in the Mediterranean. The project objective is to achieve and demonstrate this in a set of 15 important sites in 6 countries : Albania, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Tunisia. In operational terms this is being delivered through 6 national projects and a regional component that has a supporting and facilitating role to the national components. MedWetCoast project, conservation sustainable use of wetland biodiversity in the Mediterranean countries, Albania, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authorithy, Tunisia

(GIF) Principle and Objectives

The MedWetCoast project aims at conserving the biodiversity of global and regional importance in 6 countries/authority in the Mediterranean basin. The project is based around three distinct and complementary actions:

- At local level Implementing sustainable management in 15 pilot sites (threatened wetlands and coastal areas). Local intersectoral management committee gathering all the stakeholders follows these actions.

- At national level Developing innovative legal frameworks for removing the causes of biodiversity degradation. Reinforcing the institutions involved in the management of natural resources and promoting coordinated policies.

- At regional level Strengthening capacities through training and technical assistance ; Developing and sharing the Mediterranean experience through networkin

Methodological support

(GIF) The Regional Facilitation Unit provided national institutions with various methods and tools that have been developed and validated during MedWet projects. In addition, other specific tools have been developed specially for the project with the support of international experts. According to this method, terms of reference for the site diagnosis studies and a framework for the management plans were developed.

In addition to the methodological guidelines, international experts are supporting the national components in implementing the field activities related to the site diagnosis and to the development of the management plans.

Several regional technical meetings are also organized to continue the capacity efforts needs of the various project actors. These meetings not only contribute at strengthening the technical aspects related to the project but also facilitate a greater exchange of experience among the project partners and with renown technical experts.

Regional meetings are organised to consolidate the working principles at national and regional level. The national group of experts responsible for the work was supported by international experts, in order to identify the tasks required to fulfil the project. Regular monitoring and exchanges of experiences between the different countries will be ensured by the Regional Facilitation Unit.

Challenges and perspectives

The MedWetCoast project aims at catalysing a sustainable mechanism for the conservation of wetlands and coastal areas at the level of the Mediterranean basin.

It operates for this purpose in close collaboration with existing regional activities, specifically the MedWet Initiative (the Ramsar Convention) and the Mediterranean Action Plan (the Barcelona Convention).

It also intends to establish operational links with the Mediterranean programmes of organizations such as the IUCN and the WWF.

Such synergies should allow to disseminate in all neighbouring countries the experience gained in the six countries involved in the project. The synergies should also allow to mobilize the extensive potential of knowledge, skills and action that exist within the different organizations.

In this part of the world where biodiversity stands among the richest and most threatened, MedWetCoast will thus actively contribute to conserve biodiversity and to "close the Mediterranean circle".

Regional intervention

Regional seminar - Zaranik, Egypt, nov 2001 (JPEG) The regional component of the project follows a double objective:
- Strengthening the capacities and experience of MedWetCoast Project actors;
- Constitute an operational network between the actors in the different countries

Strengthening the capacities and experience through two privileged modalities:

- Training

Establishing and implementing training plans responding to specific project needs in each country as well as at the regional level.

Identification of training requirements

Training is an essential tool within the framework of this project for strengthening national and local capacities of site managers. Identifying training requirements enables training courses to be constructed that respond precisely to the project challenges.

ATEN has conducted missions for analysing training requirements in all the countries. A regional training programme has been defined and national training plans have been proposed for the partners in each country. Each year, several regional training sessions support the project in its different development phase.

(JPEG)

- Technical assistance

Mobilizing the capacities of reputed Mediterranean expertise in the management of wetlands and coastal zones for the benefit of the project actors.

The Regional Facilitation Unit provided national institutions with various methods and tools that have been developed and validated during MedWet projects. In addition, other specific tools have been developed specially for the project with the support of international experts. According to this method, terms of reference for the site diagnosis studies and a framework for the management plans were developed.

In addition to the methodological guidelines, international experts are supporting the national components in implementing the field activities related to the site diagnosis and to the development of the management plans.

(JPEG)

Several regional technical meetings are also organized to continue the capacity efforts needs of the various project actors. These meetings not only contribute at strengthening the technical aspects related to the project but also facilitate a greater exchange of experience among the project partners and with renown technical experts.

Regional meetings are organised to consolidate the working principles at national and regional level. The national group of experts responsible for the work was supported by international experts, in order to identify the tasks required to fulfil the project. Regular monitoring and exchanges of experiences between the different countries will be ensured by the Regional Facilitation Unit.

(GIF) - Constitute an operational network

Between the actors in the different countries (civil servants, local authorities, NGOs, scientists, representatives of populations...) and establish among them exchanges and partnerships. The regional action assists national and local components, by facilitating the transfer and the optimisation of experiences among the project partners and within the Mediterranean basin as a whole.





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