Coastal Wetlands of Oristano, Sardinia, Italy. Photo: © MedWet/C. Amico

Infographics on the role of wetlands to fight climate change and biodiversity crises

Jun 18, 2021 | Visuals

Coastal wetlands: nature-based solutions to extreme weather

From droughts and heatwaves to storms and floods, the climate crisis is causing stronger and more frequent extreme weather events around the Mediterranean. Restoring wetlands will offer long-term protection against extreme weather while conventional infrastructure is increasingly overwhelmed.

Coastal wetlands: nature-based solutions to sea level rise

The climate crisis is increasing the rate of sea level rise in the Mediterranean, and higher water levels and stronger storm surges could affect a third of the region’s population by 2100. Healthy coastal wetlands have a vital role to play in future, providing natural protection for cities and farmland threatened by flooding, erosion and salt water incursion.

Wetlands and water stress in the Mediterranean

Water stress is a fact of life in the Mediterranean, and the situation is going to get worse in future. Wise use of our region’s wetlands is essential to reverse the trend and save precious water supplies – and we must make sure we maintain their ecological processes too.

Coastal wetlands: nature-based solutions for storing carbon

Healthy wetlands have a crucial role to play in the fight against global warming. They capture carbon, storing it first in their biomass and then in their sediments – and they do it at a rate 10-20 times greater than temperate or boreal forests. But when wetlands are destroyed, not only do they stop absorbing carbon, but they also release their stores back into the atmosphere, increasing greenhouse gases.

Wetland biodiversity in crisis

Healthy wetlands play an essential role as a habitat for biodiversity that can help to adapt to climate change. Mediterranean wetlands are a particularly important habitats for migratory birds. However, they are threatened by human pressures, thus reducing their capacity to preserve biodiversity.