The Initiative

The Donors’ Initiative for Mediterranean Freshwater Ecosystems (DIMFE) specifically addresses the conservation and restoration of freshwater ecosystems in the Mediterranean basin. 

To fully participate in this challenge, DIMFE aims to support projects with a strong impact on the ground, through calls for projects.

The initiative relies on the knowledge of a network of experts who evaluate the projects received and accompany the initiative in the implementation of its action and communication strategy to provide conservation actors with a solid financial partner.



Why protect freshwater ecosystems?


Although wetlands cover less than 1% of the Earth's surface, they are nonetheless indispensable and host significant biodiversity, representing 12% of all known species. 

Freshwater ecosystems also play a key role in contributing to human well-being and development:

  • They provide many essential ecosystem services to humans, such as drinking water and irrigation for crops
  • They are part of the solution to fight against climate change thanks to the nature-based solutions they provide


Freshwater ecosystems at risk 


Yet, despite their importance, they are under constant threat.

Species in freshwater ecosystems have an extinction rate four to six times higher than in marine or terrestrial organisms.

In the Mediterranean Basin the situation is critical:

  • Since 1970, almost half of the wetlands have disappeared
  • Since 1993, freshwater vertebrate populations have declined by an average of 28%
  • Today, 36% of these species are threatened

Poor water management, pollution, infrastructure development, and resource extraction further exacerbate the negative effects on our freshwater ecosystems. 

The situation is deteriorating, and it is essential to act to preserve these fragile ecosystems. Conservation measures through local, regional, and national actions as well as international cooperation are necessary to combat these threats and to ensure the proper management of these ecosystems and their rational and sustainable use.