INBO - Newsletter

INBO Newsletter n° 27 - May 2019 42 The Mediterranean and Middle East Mediterranean wetlands are natural ecosystems that provide important ser- vices for human activities, especially those related to water. Thanks to their hydrological functions, they can sup- ply water to aquifers and rivers, which are important sources of the fresh water necessary for human consumption as well as for activities such as agriculture and industry. Today, activities such as uncontrolled water withdrawals, unsustainable agri- culture, hydroelectric power plants and non-perennial water storage facilities lead to the over-exploitation of this nat- ural resource and diminish the quanti- ties of water required by nature and its natural ecosystems. To address the problem of unsustain- able water use and management, a partnership has just been launched in the Mediterranean basin to ensure inte- grated management of water resources for natural ecosystems. The partnership, funded by the MAVA Foundation, involves seven international organizations: Wetlands International, GWP-Med, the IUCN Mediterranean Cooperation Center (IUCN-Med) and the IUCN Regional Office for Western Asia (ROWA), MedWet, Tour du Valat, and WWF North Africa. The partnership aims to significantly reduce the impact of water abstrac- tion and related key sectors (including agriculture) on biodiversity and on the functioning of wetland ecosystems in the Mediterranean. Through pilot projects in the south and east of the Mediterranean, this platform is intended to promote integrated water management and dialogue with the civil society by integrating the place of natu- ral ecosystems into the approach of the Water - Energy - Food Nexus. This approach highlights existing interdependencies to guarantee water, energy and food security for human well-being while ensuring the conserva- tion and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources. River basins and wetland ecosystems in the Mediterranean need integrated water management and approaches such as the Nexus to ensure better maintenance of their ecological functioning, includ- ing the provision of ecosystem services useful for nature, for the economy, and for future generations. Read more: Policy Brief on “Water, Wetlands and Nature-based Solu- tions in a Nexus Context in the Mediterranean”. Nexus Frank HOFFMANN Wetlands International Maïlis Renaudin MedWet, the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative A partnership for integrated management of water resources and wetlands in the Mediterranean VISCA 9 Climate services to support medium to long term adaptation to climate change in agriculture Climate change is threatening different varieties of agricultural species; the wine-grapes are extremely sensitive to weather, and subtle changes in tem- perature can affect their acidity, sugar levels, ripening period or their vulner- ability to pests and diseases leading to implications on the economic compet- itiveness of Europe’s wines. Wine-growers need accurate informa- tion about weather forecasting includ- ing when extreme weather events are likely to hit them and when the best periods to irrigate, fertilize, prune and harvest their crops are. VISCA project, a Horizon 2020 -funded project, a 3-year project which started in May 2017 with a total budget of 3.2 Million Euros, aims to meet this need by providing climate services with a decision support system (DSS) through a multi-platform web applica- tion tool integrating climate, agricul- tural and end-users specifications in order to design medium-and long-term adaptation strategies to ensure that wine-growers get the best quality and quantity of their wine-grapes. VISCA services are validated by real demonstrations with end users, who are part of the consortium, on three demo sites in Spain (Codorniu), Italy (Mastroberardino) and Portugal (Symington). These services include: weather forecasting/extreme events at short time-scales from hours up to ten days, seasonal forecasting at time- scales up to 7 months ahead, climate projections at decadal time-scales for the next 20-30 years. VISCA services are demonstrated while testing differ- ent management techniques such as crop forcing, shoot trimming and an irrigation scheduling tool. The pro- ject is also evaluating the replicabil- ity potential in other countries as well as the adaptation of the tool for other crops like olive, cereals, etc. Beyond the applications for the agri- culture sector, climate services can be applied to the management of water infrastructure at river basin scales at different time scales. Eric MINO - Maha AL-SALEHI EMWIS TU VISCA demonstration site in Portugal © SYMINGTON