MedWet assists in wetland inventory for Libya

06/06/2001

An inventory for Libyan wetlands

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MedWet, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative, will assist the Environment General Authority of Libya (EGA) in preparing an inventory of Libyan wetlands, and in establishing national policies for wetland wise use throughout the country.

This positive development occurred with the signature of a memorandum of cooperation on 26 May 2001 in the town of El Bayda in eastern Libya. The memorandum covered a number of other biodiversity-related activities beyond wetlands. Dr. Ehtuish F. Ehtuish, Secretary of the People’s Committee on the Environment, signed from the Libyan side, while the other side included the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for Protected Areas (RAC-SPA), which is the coordinator for biodiversity support to Libya, IUCN – The Nature Conservation Union, Ramsar / MedWet, and WWF International. MedWet was represented by Thymio Papayannis, Senior Advisor on Mediterranean Wetlands.

The inventory of Libyan wetlands will be carried out during the second semester of 2001 and in 2002, and will be based on the MedWet Inventory System. It will start with a preliminary survey of wetland resources in the country, and will continue with a detailed inventory of selected pilot areas. National policy guidelines will be proposed as soon as a good understanding of the current situation is achieved. A major component of this work will be training by MedWet of EGA staff in the inventory method and tools, so that they can continue in the future without external assistance, and be able to use these tools for the integrated management and monitoring of Libyan wetlands."

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