The Mediterranean sea is the largest enclosed sea in the world with 46,000 km of coastline. It includes a mosaic of coastal wetlands of high ecological value that are critical in the life of millions of people living there thanks to the vital services they provide. Unfortunately, wetlands in the Mediterranean region are declining fast and losing their functions and services due to climate change and human activities such agriculture, urbanisation, infrastructure development and tourism.
Today, a consortium of 11 international organisations joined the campaign and launched “Off Your Map”, in order to deepen the understanding of coastal wetlands to ensure a more effective conservation of these habitats. The campaign aims to improve the understanding of coastal wetlands’ characteristics; to boost the recognition of coastal wetlands’ benefits (economic, social, cultural and environmental), and of the threats affecting them; and to influence key policy processes in favour of the effective sustainable use, integrated management and conservation of coastal wetlands at national and regional levels.
Hear about the #CoastalWetlands of Oristano (Italy), one of the #Offyourmap pilot sites. They provide important habitats for birds & are breeding grounds for gulls & pink flamingos
Join us today in our Side event at 18:15 in Room 5B #RamsarCOP13#LifeBeginsInWetlands #Maristanis pic.twitter.com/WMdQe99Zuk
— Offyourmap (@offyourmap) 24 octobre 2018
Through the key message “Life Begins In Wetlands”, the campaign focuses on the critical role played by coastal wetlands in ensuring the livelihoods of millions of people living in these areas, and also in protecting their homes by reducing disaster risks such as flooding and storms. Coastal wetlands are nature based solutions, as they improve water quality and are a source of fresh water. Wetlands are also an important destination for tourism, which generates incomes for local economies. They also provide suitable habitat for diverse native plants and animals, many of which are endangered.
Together we can turn the tide for Mediterranean Coastal Wetlands. Don’t let them be wiped off the map!