Wetlands are at the heart of life itself – but in the Mediterranean, our wetlands are in trouble.
Wetlands give us our drinking water, irrigate our crops, support huge biodiversity and underpin cultures. Against the urgent backdrop of a changing climate, healthy wetlands provide Nature-based Solutions to our most pressing challenges. They’re particularly important in the Mediterranean’s coastal areas, where they play a vital role in the fight against climate change: as well as helping us manage extreme events like floods and storms, and defending us against rising seas, they mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases, storing 10-20 times more carbon than temperate or boreal forests.
150 million people live on the Mediterranean coast, and the population is still increasing: as the region is getting hotter, we need its coastal wetlands more than ever. But in the region, we’ve destroyed 50% of our wetlands in the last 50 years, and there are intense pressures on remaining areas, most of which are damaged and degraded. When we lose wetlands, we lose all the benefits and services they offer – and with a growing population and a heating planet, we can’t afford for this to happen.
million people live on the Mediterranean coast
of the Mediterranean population have made coastal areas their home
of Mediterranean wetlands have been destroyed in the last 50 years
Abundance of wetland species vertebrate abundance has halved since 1990
Pilot project locations
Through our pilot projects in the field, sharing our knowledge and collaborating with others facing similar challenges, we aim to catalyse wetland restoration on a large scale right across the region.
Buna River, Albania
Ghar el Melh, Tunisia
The Saltpan Initiative
MedIsWet (island wetlands)
Wetlands & people: a vital connection
Wetlands & People: A Vital Connection is a short animated video, which captures the deep rootedness of wetlands in our lives, our souls and our history – and the way in which we humans increasingly threaten them.