Society of Wetland Scientists Europe Meeting “Management of Wetland Ecosystem Services: Issues, Challenges and Solutions”
The 13th Europe Meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) held from April 30 to May 4 in Ohrid, Macedonia, brought together more than 50 experts in the field. Matt Simpson, currently the President of the Europe SWS, and Rebecca Woodward attended the meeting to share in the information exchange about the latest developments in wetland science and conservation from across the world.
We have been supporting local groups in Ohrid to protect one of the last remaining wetland fragments, Studenchishte Marsh, bordering Lake Ohrid, the oldest lake in Europe, so it was important to hold the meeting in the region. As part of the meeting, the participants unanimously adopted a Declaration on the Protection of the Lake Ohrid Ecosystem, which recognized the importance of the wetlands in terms of the 250 endemic species that can be found there and the important benefits they provide to the region in terms of flood defence, carbon storage and tourism income.
The declaration called on the authorities to protect the area. We have been working with SWS members to have the area designated as a Ramsar site and the fantastic news from the official session of the meeting, with representatives from Ohrid City and the Macedonian Government, was that they committed (on camera) to designate the whole area as a Ramsar site by the end of the year.