Balkan-Mediterranean territory shares natural environment of high biodiversity value including lake complexes, riverine systems and inland and coastal wetlands, many of which represent important archaeological heritage. The territory contains Ramsar sites and NATURA 2000 sites. The complex of lakes at the transnational zone is a priority corridor for biodiversity conservation across the Mediterranean Basin Hotspot, including 42 key biodiversity areas with a total of 29 globally threatened species.
Common major territorial problems arise from resources’ inefficient use, pollution and fragmentation, which coupled with the impacts of climate change lead to reduced availability of water and to degradation, having strong implications both for nature and man. Further, weak is the efficiency in nature protection and management of protected areas due to slow implementation of EU directives, differences in the capacity to develop policies and action plans, to apply joint ecosystem and biodiversity management techniques and to develop sustainable tourism approaches. Very weak is the transnational cooperation on biodiversity and ecosystem integration.
WetMainAreas addresses adequately the transnational challenge for promoting ecological connectivity and transnational ecosystems’ integration by focusing on wetlands conservation and scientific policy improvement. The project tackles the lack of data and the assessment on wetland connectivity within protected networks. Its approach is innovative and lies at the edge of nature conservation (ecosystem connectivity), promotion of the whole region and its natural and cultural importance and technology approach.