Adi represents Nature Trust (Malta) at workshop on RAWES
Adi Associates represented Nature Trust (Malta) at a training workshop organised by the MedIsWet network at Tour du Valat (TdV) in the Camargue region (France).
TdV is a research station for the conservation of wetlands around the Mediterranean. The estate was bought by Luc Hoffmann (co-founder of WWF) in 1947 and organised into a research station in 1954.
The three-day training workshop focused on Rapid Assessment of Wetland Ecosystem Services (RAWES). The RAWES approach was recognised as an important tool for wetland assessment through Resolution XIII.17 of the 13th Meeting of the COP to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands held in Dubai in October 2018. The training workshop was conducted and facilitated by Robert McInnes (RM Wetlands & Environment Ltd), an independent Chartered Environmentalist with a vast experience in wetland ecosystems and their benefits to humans around the globe.
The RAWES approach is built on the recognition of the multiple values wetlands provide to humans. Concurrently, it is tailored to facilitate rapid assessment with limited resources. This approach encourages the assessors to engage in dialogue with different stakeholders to better understand the services and values of the wetland being assessed (McInnes and Everard, 2017).
The benefits that are provided by the wetlands are referred to as ‘ecosystem services’ and have been categorised into four broad categories: provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and supporting services. The ‘provisioning services’ are related to the material that is generated from the wetland, for example: fresh water, food, fuel, raw materials etc. The ‘regulating services’ consist in how the wetlands can maintain a particular system in place by, for example, mitigating the risks from flooding and improving air quality, amongst others. The ‘cultural services’ enrich human society through cultural heritage, recreation, and spiritual value. Finally, the ‘supporting services’ refer to life-supporting cycles and systems.
The training workshop included fieldwork sessions using RAWES. The fieldwork sessions included assessments of a lagoon, a saltmarsh, a rice field, a reedbed, a channel, and Mediterranean temporary pools. The fieldwork sessions were followed by discussions on the challenges encountered during the assessment. Finally, the RAWES approach was adapted for the MedIsWet Project, which is a project that brings together different NGOs and institutions with the aim to create a common inventory of the Mediterranean island wetlands.
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