The conference aimed to enhance the exchange of experiences and networking among scientists, policymakers and practitioners on the impact and role of wetlands in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Representatives from 26 countries participated live and online. The "Lagoon of Life" project was presented with two posters on the following topics:
- Bio-saline farming – a new approach to adapting to climate change and preserving salt lakes – examples from Bulgaria and Portugal, prepared by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and Salina Greens (Portugal).
- Is climate change displacing the migration of some bird species at Lake Atanasovo, Bulgaria?, prepared by Dr. Petar Yankov Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds - BirdLife Bulgaria.
- The upcoming challenges for wetland biodiversity (rivers and coastal wetlands) and climate change;
- Nature-based solutions (NBS) for climate change mitigation and adaptation in riverine and coastal wetlands;
- Increasing the benefits of ecosystem services in riverine and coastal wetlands;
- Wetland restoration in practice: overcoming barriers and scaling up implementation;
- Wetland policies: How Europe can move forward.
- There was a special focus on the implementation of one of the objectives of the Biodiversity Strategy 2030 - to restore 25,000 km of free-flowing rivers with examples from Germany and the middle Danube.
Also featured was the UN Freshwater Challenge, launched in March 2023, which aims to attract the support needed to restore 300,000 km of rivers and 350 million hectares of inland wetlands by 2030.
Emphasis was also placed on the topic of carbon balance, carbon storage in products and blue carbon, which is stored in coastal and ocean ecosystems. Examples were given from Scotland of how coastal moorlands store more carbon per unit area than inland forests.
The Mediterranean Wetland Observatory presented with a poster its large-scale Mediterranean-wide mapping study of existing and dried wetlands based on hydro-ecological data (e.g. topography, surface runoff, geology) combined with climate variables, surface water dynamics and available buildings. The resulting map is an innovative tool to better prioritize potential wetlands for restoration in the Mediterranean.
During the conference, recommendations were developed to raise awareness of the importance of the conference theme.