Mediterranean wetlands are subject to various direct pressures: agriculture, urbanization, industry, tourism, energy, transport, hunting, fishing, fish-farming… These may lead to e.g. losses in wetland surface, habitat or ecosystem changes, water pollution, or else to direct effects on populations of animal or plant species – in extreme cases leading to their disappearance.
But these pressures generally result from deeper causes, operating “upstream” of these visible pressures: political and strategic orientations, political decisions, governance, variable law enforcement, density and growth of human population, development model chosen, division of stakeholders when developing land-use plans, cultural aspects, climate change etc.
These pressures and drivers are monitored by the Observatory thanks to 4 indicators to date :
As far as drivers are concerned, the MWO also uses, in addition, some existing macro-indicators in order to analyse trends and causal links. The most relevant ones in our case are the Gross national product (GNP), the GNP per capita, the Human development index and the Ecological footprint.