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03 December 2018
The 2nd Mediterranean Plant Conservation Week took place place at the University of Malta, Valletta Campus, Malta from 12 to 16 November 2018, with the theme of “Conservation of Mediterranean Plant Diversity: Complementary Approaches and New Perspectives”. The main organizers of the event were the ‘CARE-MEDIFLORA’ project and the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation. Other collaborators, including the University of Malta, the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Small Mediterranean Islands Initiative (PIM Initiative) and the ‘MedIsWet’ project (Conservation of Mediterranean Islands Wetlands), organised conference sessions and side events.
The event was a gathering point for botanists and other practitioners, organisations and community members working in the field of plant conservation and sustainable development. It represented an opportunity for dialogue among stakeholders and experts, to share successful examples of plant conservation initiatives with local communities and to build capacities. The 2nd MPCW hosted associated events that shared progress and results from regional initiatives for plant and habitat conservation, including the annual meeting of the Network of Mediterranean Plant Conservation Centers ‘GENMEDA’ and presentation of the CARE-MEDIFLORA project results.
The Week opened on Monday 12 November with the first session on “Ex situ plant species conservation”. On Tuesday there were two sessions, “In situ plant species conservation: technical aspects, methodology, monitoring” and “Ex situ and in situ plant species conservation: collaborations, strategies, communication”, followed by two more sessions on Wednesday on “Science for action: Mapping tools to incorporate plant data into decision tools for management” and “Disruptive ethnobotany in blasted landscapes: rethinking people-plant relationships in the Mediterranean”. Additional side events included a presentation of the MedIsWet project and presentations by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The event also hosted the launch of the SimaSeed Italia Malta INTERREG project. On Thursday, participants joined a field trip to learn more about the geology and vegetation of the Maltese Islands. Starting from the North East coast and proceeding to the Northwest side of the Island, participants visited a range of geological features, topography and associated vegetation. The field trip included a visit to the high cliffs of Dingli and the archaeological site of Mnajdra and Ħaġar Qim. On Friday 16 November, the last session entitled “Site based approaches for plant conservation: Micro-reserves, and habitat restoration” preceded the formal closure of the Week.
The main donor for this event was the MAVA Foundation, which is currently supporting several initiatives for biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean region.
Details about the event, including photos, programme and presentations, are available at http://www.medplantsweek.uicnmed.org/.