GlobWetland II (GW-II) is a regional pilot project of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, funded through the European Space Agency (ESA). The primary objective of GW-II is to facilitate the integration of remote sensing into the conservation and management of wetlands. It aims to develop a monitoring system of the main coastal wetlands and the Ramsar sites in 10 Mediterranean countries, from Morocco to Syria, mainly based on mapping and indicators development. The Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) is involved as a key user of GW-II, as each of the ten countries. As far as the MWO is concerned, the GW-II project incorporates the valuation of four of its indicators in about 200 wetlands, including trends measurement between 1975 and 2006.
The project GW-II is already at the end of its technical phase. In January 2012, in a meeting with project partners and the European Space Agency (ESA) in Thessaloniki, Greece, the ESA confirmed the acceptance of the GW-II information system. It means that the system is formally qualified and compliant with the requirements baseline and the technical specifications. The project team can now start the production of the maps for the 200 coastal wetlands in Northern Africa and Middle East and schedule the training sessions where users in their respective countries will be trained to operate the ArcGIS integrated software.
The GW-II team was also present at the International Medwet Symposium “Water and Wetlands in the Mediterranean” in Agadir, Morocco, on 6-8 February 2012. Participants of the Symposium could attend the GW-II side-event on February 7. The project team together with the ESA provided details about the project objectives, background and milestones. First mapping results were presented together with the software that has been developed to produce the wetland maps and indicators. In addition a GlobWetland II booth was set up during the full Symposium. As the team was there during the whole conference, the participants could visit them to get a detailed inside look into the GW-II activities and discuss questions about the project.