A key mechanism to protect Mediterranean wetlands, maintain their biodiversity and prevent further losses is to designate protected areas. Their surface area is now an indicator of most international conventions. Some countries have defined targets in terms of % of national territory to be protected – although not for wetlands specifically. Beyond the various levels of national, legal protection, international “site quality labels” such as the World Heritage, Biosphere Reserves or Ramsar sites also exist. The latter one is wetland-specific and most relevant to the MWO.
The MWO takes into account 2 sub-indicators: