The Red Alert System is a procedure created by the Alliance at the service of any civil society that wants to protect a wetland under threat in the Mediterranean. In this manner, the members of the Alliance can provide support and expertise to those civil society organizations that are aware of one or more direct threats to a wetland and want to carry out different actions to stop it, for example new big tourism complex or industrial developments that affect the biodiversity and functionality of the wetland and consequently its people.
The need to create such tool comes from the fact that many of the current mechanisms (Ramsar, MedWet, national policies…) do not always allow to stop wetland destruction linked to development projects or cannot draw quick enough the attention of society, decision-makers, and the international community to alert about such dangers. In this way, any civil society organization that wants to request the support of the international community can apply to activate the Red Alert System mechanism of the Alliance. Once the Alliance has evaluated the application, a task force will be formed with members of the Alliance interested in working in the case and they will provide support to develop the strategy of the applicant.
To exemplify it, we can take the case of the Erimitis wetlands. On the Greek island of Corfu, a tourism project opposed by a large part of the civil society was threatening three important wetlands. A local organization requested support from the Alliance, so we collaborated with them to support the strategies they wanted to develop.
On the one hand, the Alliance participated in several meetings to advise on how the strategy could be implemented and in what we could participate. Finally, two letters endorsed by most of the Alliance members were written to the Prime Minister of Greece in October 2020 and in February 2021. They were written to inform about the ecological importance of the wetlands and urging a reconsideration of the project to bring it in line with Greece’s agreed legal commitments, both nationally and internationally.
These letters were as well forwarded to strategic institutions and Conventions that Greece has agreements with (ex European Commission, UNEP, RAMSAR, etc.). These actions were reported to the news media, giving to the Erimitis case an international scope. At this moment, the Alliance is monitoring Erimitis, remaining watchful of the development of the situation.
The following scheme briefly explains the procedure for carrying out a Red Alert. In addition, you can find in this web page, in the section Resources>Library> The Red Alert System, documents explaining it n more detail. In any case, we are at your disposal at firstname.lastname@example.org to answer any questions your organization may have.
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