Within the framework of the EU Green Week, the Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community (MBPC) from Interreg Med Programme held its first capitalisation online evennt. Well over 100 participants gathered to explore the latest science, field work, policy and finance mechanisms that will support and inspire urgent agreements and actions to guarantee the long-term availability of these exceptional habitats in the Mediterranean. MedCities was upon the facilitators as the communication leader of the MBPC project.

The all day webinar session took place within the framework of the EU Green Week, when the Mediterranean Biodiveristy Community (MBPC) –Interreg MED horizontal project participated by MedCities – organised its first Capitalisation Event with the topic: Healthy wetlands: Our best natural answer to the biodiversity, water and climate crises: The Mediterranean case.

Wetlands are the most degraded of all existing natural habitats in Europe, and the Mediterranean is not an exception. However, healthy coastal wetlands will have a vital role to play in the future, providing natural protection for cities and farmland threatened by flooding, erosion and saltwater incursion. They also capture carbon 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 then release their stores back into the atmosphere, increasing greenhouse gases.

Watch the webinar introductory video:

The webinar explored the latest science, field work, policy and finance mechanisms that will support and inspire urgent agreements and actions to guarantee the long-term availability of these exceptional habitats, as well as strengthen their resilience in the face of the crises humanity is facing – especially when it comes to water and climate. Inspiring experiences regarding issues as competence, multi-stakeholders contracts, the value of networks, the co-benefits for people and nature and the mobilisation of funding were shared by members of the MBPC. The Metropolitan City of Izmir, MedCities member with a population of about 3 million inhabitats and home to the Gediz Delta, intervened on this topic. Metropolitan Mayor’s advisor Mr. Güven Eken shared the experience of halting large infrastructural projects in the delta – one of Turkey’s most extensive coastal wetlands of very high biodiversity importance- and opting for increasing awareness and finding benefits both for people and nature.

The meeting closed with a debate engaging DG Environment, DG Clima the Interreg MED and Interreg Balkan Programme to update on EU Strategies within the Green Deal, the future of the Interreg programme and agree through a roundtable on 10 ideas to ensure wetlands fully answer the biodiversity, climate and water crises while creating socio economic benefits. The webinar report will be launched soon and published at MBPC website, stay tunned! We animate you to test your knowledge on wetlands ecosystems by playing this wetlands quiz

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