Conservation and Management of Wetlands to Tackle Climate Change

14-16 February 2024

Valencia (Spain) - Complejo “La Petxina”

Conference Information


Wednesday, February 14, 2024 from 08:30 to 19:15 at La Petxina | Cultural València

Thursday February 15, 2024 from 08:30 to 18:30 at La Petxina | Cultural València

Friday, February 16, 2024 – Visit to the Natural Park of l’Albufera


La Petxina Cultural Center: Paseo de la Petxina, 42 ; 46008 Valencia (maps)

The crucial importance of wetlands in the context of global change and, in particular, climate change, are recurring topics in international environmental forums, such as the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Mediterranean region

In the Mediterranean region, wetlands are particularly valuable ecosystems from a natural and cultural point of view. Many of them have been in close proximity to urban areas since ancient times. This brings many environmental and social benefits to urban dwellers, but also poses a challenge for their management.


Wetlands are important habitats for wildlife species, some of which are seriously threatened, and have influenced society and human well-being for millennia. Despite their great importance for the Mediterranean region, wetlands face several threats, including severe degradation or loss over the past decades, now aggravated by climate change.

Not only do wetlands have the potential to regulate the local climate due to the thermal inertia of water, but, as has become clear in recent years, these ecosystems, when they are in a good state of conservation, are potentially capable of withholding large quantities of carbon from the atmosphere, acting as natural sinks that help to alleviate the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere generated by anthropic activities. 


However, alterations in their conservation status can affect the balance, favouring carbon outflows over inflows, reducing the natural capacity of wetlands to sequester carbon, and even turning them into a source of greenhouse gases. Wetlands can thus play a key role in mitigating the greenhouse effect in the face of future climate conditions, but inadequate management or continued threats to their conservation status could increase their greenhouse gas emissions, and significantly reduce this ecosystemic contribution.


The increase in the knowledge of these ecosystems and, above all, the awareness on the part of the public, have changed the perception that our society has of wetlands over the last few decades.


This Conference will provide an opportunity for participants to disseminate their work, share their ideas, interact with academics, restoration project implementers and policy makers, and network internationally. It will also provide new scientific and technical advances and ultimately technical tools (derived from the results of numerous projects and initiatives) for the sustainable management of wetlands to help practitioners and managers make strategic decisions to address Global Change.


In addition, the Conference will pay special attention to the Albufera of Valencia, the lake of which is owned by the Valencia City Council and is a part of a large area protected by the Generalitat Valenciana. It should be noted here that Valencia is the only Spanish city accredited as a Wetland City (COP14, 2022), a designation established by the Ramsar Convention in recognition of the importance of cities in the conservation of urban wetlands.


The Albufera Natural Park is a unique case of resistance in the face of enormous external and internal pressures. The fact that the lake, the Devesa area, and the nearby rice fields have escaped the obliteration foreseen in the 1970s has been thanks to the support and care provided by the citizens, the impressive scientific monitoring that has been conducted in the region for decades, and the determined political will to keep the area’s flora and fauna alive, while also taking care of its residents and visitors.

Finally, it should be noted that the Conference is part of the Valencia European Green Capital 2024 Programme. Valencia is the first Mediterranean city to obtain this prestigious recognition, which since 2010 has been awarded by the European Commission (DG ENV) for the purpose of recognising the efforts made by European cities in the area of sustainability.

Organized by:

Ajuntament de València

Fundación Global Nature

Universitat de València

Generalitat Valenciana

With the support of:

EU LIFE Program (LIFE Wetlands4Climate, LIFE EL Hito)

DG Environment and the EU Green Capital Secretariat

Ajuntament de València

Consellería de Medio Ambiente, Agua, Infraestructuras y Territorio

Diputación Provincial de Cuenca

With the collaboration of

Las Naves


Fundació València Clima i Energia

EFE Verde

Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico (MITECO)

Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV)

Convenio de Ramsar relativo a Humedales de Importancia Internacional

Scientific Committee:

Coordinated by:

Prof. Dr. Antonio Camacho – Universitat de València

Prof. Dr. María José Viñals – Universitat Politècnica de València


Prof. Dr. Santos Cirujano Bracamonte – Real Jardín Botánico – CSIC

Prof. Dr. María Antonia Rodrigo – Universitat de València

Prof. Dr. Ana Isabel Lillebø – University of Aveiro (Portugal)

Prof. Dr. Daniel von Schiller – Universitat de Barcelona

Prof. Dr. Francisco Martínez Capel – Universitat Politècnica de València

Prof. Dr. Máximo Florín – Universidad de Castilla –La Mancha.

Prof. Dr. Javier Armengol – Universitat de València

Prof. Dr Isabel Reche – Universidad de Granada

Prof. Dr. Biel Obrador – Universitat de Barcelona

Dr. Dania Abdul Malak –  European Topic Centre at the University of Malaga

Dr. Katrin Attermeyer – WasserCluster Lunz & University of Vienna (Austria)

Dr. Anis Guelmani – Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat (Francia)