Freshwater biodiversity assessment and conservation priorities for the Mediterranean Hotspot

Our Mediterranean Hotspot project will provide resources that are essential for guiding decisions on the conservation and sustainable management of freshwater biodiversity in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot. The project will first build on our recent assessements in the region by filling the remaining gaps in information on freshwater biodiversity in the eastern and northern Mediterranean region and will use this information, combined with the results of previous biodiversity assessments, to identify and validate Key Biodiversity Areas as a focus for conservation action throughout the Hotspot.

This will be achieved by;
  1. Collating data on the distribution, abundance, ecology, and utilisation by humans, for several groups of species that are reliable indicators of the biological structure and functioning of freshwater ecosystems in the eastern and northern Mediterranean region.
  2. Evaluating the risk of extinction for these species according to the IUCN Red List Criteria
  3. Mapping geographic patterns of species richness, endemism, and existing or impending threats to the species
  4. Identifying and validating (through stakeholder consultations and workshops) freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas for the entire Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot region.
  5. Making the collated data and results for the analysis widely and freely available to conservation practitioners and developers alike via print publications, data DVD’s, and the internet.
The exceptional concentration of species found in the freshwaters of the Mediterranean region, coupled with the essential ecosystem services that are supplied to humanity by these freshwaters and their biodiversity, and the increasing threats to the ecosystems, indicate the importance and urgency of this project.
 
The project started in June 2012 and is funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), MAVA Foundation pour la Nature (MAVA), the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperation (AECID) and the BioFresh Project.

Project area for the Freshwater biodiversity assessment and conservation priorities for the Mediterranean Hotspot project
IUCN

Eastern Mediterranean Assessment (2014)

The Eastern Mediterranean Assessment has been completed in 2014 and the report is now freely available here.

This work represents the most comprehensive assessment yet of freshwater biodiversity at the species level for this part of the world and provides an essential resource for guiding future decisions on the conservation and sustainable management of freshwater biodiversity in the Mediterranean Hotspot.
 
Aditionally, through this project freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas have been identified, mapped and validated. The associated report and data on the Freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas in the Mediterranean Basin is now also available here.

The information presented in these reports is fundamental to meeting national obligations for protection and sustainable use of biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity; the Ramsar Convention; and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In addition, the data and analysis presented here also provide an important contribution to help States implement the UN Watercourse Convention (UNWC), which came into force in August 2014, and aims to protect and maintain watercourses in their natural state.

Northern Mediterranean Assessment (2015)

The Northern Mediterranean Assessment (second part of the project) will start later this year (December 2015) thanks to the support of MAVA Foundation.

Donors
  • The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
  • Mava logo
  • AECID logo
  • BioFresh Logo
Partners
  • IUCN Med Office
  • Logo for Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature