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This Directory represents the culmination of a two-year project, the Middle East Wetland Inventory, sponsored jointly by IUCN, WWF, IWRB, BirdLife International and Ramsar. It consists of a series of national chapters describing the principal wetlands in 13 countries from Syria and Lebanon in the west, to Afghanistan in the east, and the Republic of Yemen in the south. Some 223 sites of international importance are described, based on the "Ramsar Criteria". While these wetlands are important for a host of other functions and benefits, including water storage, flood control, coastal protection and fisheries production, as well as for their wildlife.

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