The Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) needs to test some of its priority indicators at various scales, from pan-Mediterranean to local (i.e. wetland sites). For the latter scale, the MWO has selected 5 sites for testing those related to biodiversity, i.e. sites in which at least some biodiversity monitoring/research has been ongoing for some time.
They are the Camargue (or Rhone delta, France), the Gediz Delta (Turkey), Aammiq (Lebanon), Lake Ichkeul (Tunisia), and Prespa lakes (Greece/ Albania/ FYR of Macedonia)
The first phase 2009-2011, with the assistance of projects funded by the Total Foundation and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, work started. The first step is to collect as many time-series of biodiversity data for these sites, alongside other data that can potentially explain changes in biodiversity: land-use, hydrology, etc.
By mid-2010, the calculations of MWO priority indicators (Abundance of species, Community Specialization Index and Community Temperature Index) will start for these five sites, and conclusions will be drawn on the possibility to calculate these at local (site) scale in the Mediterranean overall.
Furthermore, in order to develop a further three MWO priority indicators (Exploitation index of renewable water resources, Population in the municipalities surrounding the wetlands and Proportion of wetlands that are legally protected), an extended list of 20 sites (incl. the 5 above) was also subjected to specific search for data.
For all these indicators, the first results will be reported in the first detailed MWO report, in late 2010.