By Off Your Map
Don’t let coastal wetlands be wiped off the map
Over 50% of the Mediterranean population live in coastal areas and yet over the last 100 years we’ve lost more than half of our Coastal Wetlands due to unsustainable development tourism and climate change.
During the last 40 years our consumption of natural resources has tripled. Without changing our approach to how we manage development in Coastal Wetland areas, these natural wonders will be wiped off the map. Unsustainable development is not progress; it is as damaging to human life as it is to nature.
It’s time for each of us to see Coastal Wetlands for the rich natural resource they are and consciously put them back on our maps of responsibility, before they are lost forever. We must not let them be forgotten; the ecosystems in our wetlands are the pulse of life on Earth.
What are Coastal Wetlands?
Wetlands include diverse ecosystems like marshes, deltas, lakes, ponds, rivers, as well as lagoons, coral reefs and coasts. Wetlands are land areas that are flooded with water either all the time, or seasonally. Coastal Wetlands are wetlands along the coast, which are influenced by fluctuating water levels – such as rocky shores, coastal lagoons – and provide a habitat for a vast array of organisms, including many endangered species.
All of these waters are included in Coastal Wetlands:
Species travel the journey of a lifetime to reproduce in wetlands and millions of people depend on them for their livelihoods. Without Wetlands we would have no natural barrier against storms, tsunamis and hurricanes and no natural filtering system for clean water.
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.
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.
Coastal Wetlands are a vital economic and environmental resource for us all and yet we’re losing vast amounts of these natural resources at a rate of knots. Wetland habitats are among the most heavily impacted and degraded of all ecological systems. This is directly caused by human interference putting one of the most important elements for life on Earth as great risk. (But this means humans can change this – together we can turn the tide!)
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.
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!’’
Off Your Map is a collaboration between the following partners, with the funding and support of the MAVA Foundation.
Off Your Map will be attending the Ramsar COP
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands organizes the thirteenth session of its Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP 13) in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) from 20 to 29 October 2018, with a focus on the theme “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”, which highlights the important role played by wetlands in making cities livable. The conference brings together representatives of the member governments to the Convention ( presently 170), a large number of international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as experts on wetlands-related issues.
For more info visit www.offyourmap.org