MedWet Coordination Unit premises opened in Athens, November 2001
MedWet is a coordination mechanism for wetland activities in the Mediterranean Basin and owes its origins to an international conference organized by Wetlands International (then IWRB) in Grado, Italy, in February 1991. The MedWet1 project (1992-1996), funded by the European Union, began building the collaborative MedWet network and developed regional methods and tools; MedWet2 extended the initiative throughout the Mediterranean Basin. In 1999 MedWet became a formal inter-regional structure for the implementation of the Ramsar Convention and serves as a model for regional wetland cooperative structures elsewhere. A MedWet Committee was established by Ramsar Resolution VII.22, and a MedWet Coordination Unit was established to keep things rolling along more or less merrily and maintain sanity amongst the Ramsar Bureau, the Unit itself, and the three technical support institutions (EKBY in Greece, Tour du Valat in France, and SEHUMED in Spain). On 21 November, ceremonies in Athens, Greece, inaugurated the new home of the Coordination Unit now based in Greece's National Center for the Environment and Sustainable Development in the newly renovated -- dare we say it -- palace of Villa Kazouli! The Convention's MedWet Coordinator, Spyros Kouvelis, and Policy Advisor, Nejib Benessaiah, in addition to two support personnel to be seconded from EKBY, and the premises themselves, are being fully funded for two years by the Government of Greece and are considered to be outposted staff of the Ramsar Bureau in Gland.
First click here for the text of the Secretary General's inauguratory remarks on 21 November, and then sit back and view some photos of the nifty premises of Villa Kazouli.