A driving force behind this conference is international cooperation and the broadening of water regulations developed in the European Union that may be of value to water management aims in the Mediterranean region. Both the EU Water Framework Directive and the International Cooperation (INCO) Programme are concerned with raising water quality and achieving good ecological status for water resources everywhere. Whilst recognising the wise management principles enshrined in these initiatives, it is important to take account of national and local objectives relevant to individual third country partners as well as exercise subsidiary. Transfer of scientific know-how and exchange of both technical and management skills together with more basic research may be needed to achieve effective aquatic resource management. Some of these aims were encapsulated in MELMARINA (Monitoring & Modelling Coastal Lagoons: Making Management Tools for Aquatic Resources in North Africa), an EU-INCO Project that helped to initiate the Second International Conference on Environmental Change in Lakes, Lagoons and Wetlands of the Mediterranean (Cairo 2011).