Protecting biodiversity in the Mediterranean is mainly about using and enjoying the natural resources of our rich ecosystems in a more sustainable way. We need healthy ecosystems that envelope and sustain us because the human well-being depends on them, but many people’s needs are not being met sustainably – if at all. We rely on ecosystems for the food, water and timber we need for everyday living. We depend on ecosystem processes to regulate natural cycles and keep diseases at bay. We rely on them for recreation, educational purposes and mental and physical enrichment.
To this end, four Interreg MED projects of the Biodiversity Protection Community are engaged in developing, testing and implementing strategies for a better integrated management of land, water and natural resourcesthat promote conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way.
ACT4LITTER, MPA-Adapt, WETNET and POSBEMED are already sharing best practices and methodologies to tackle this issue collectively and in a coordinated way. They have started working together in our Community’s “Kick off Meeting” in Marseille in March 2017. Most notably, all these projects share a common goal of a greater interaction with Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a crucial tool to protect biodiversity and improving the resilience of the Mediterranean ecosystems.
ACT4LITTER is reviewing the most promising proposed measures to effectively tackle the issue of marine litter and select those that could be implemented in MPAs, considering particularly the ecosystem services. This project is already mapping the state-of-art marine litter measures and prioritizing them in terms of feasibility and relevance to Mediterranean MPAs. ACT4LITTER is liaising with AMAre to address marine litter in marine protected areas.
MPA-Adapt is developing collaborative and site-specific adaptation plans for the participating MPAs to enhance their resilience to Climate Change impacts. On 13-15 June 2017, in Bonifacio, Corsica (France), MPA-ADAPT held a capacity building workshop on adaptation to climate change in the Mediterranean, and the next training activity to focus on climate change vulnerability assessments will take place in October 2017. POSBEMED is on the other hand tackling the lack of public awareness of the benefits of Posidonia oceanica meadows natural capital and responds to a strong need for strengthening the protected area management capacity with adequate guidelines on how to effectively manage posidona arrivals on the beach. The project has held its steering committee in Malaga, Spain on 14-15 June 2017 and set the path forward to develop the guidelines and management tools for MPAs, based on a systematic analysis of similar projects’ results, an assessment of existing management practices and the analysis of stakeholder´s perceptions and expectations.
WETNET tackles the issue of implementing multilevel governance for Mediterranean wetlands in order to achieve overall and network effects on wetland ecosystems as well as on connected local systems. Building on previous EU experiences (River Contracts), WETNET seeks to test and transfer ‘Wetland Contracts’, acting through broad participatory processes where users, private and public entities are committed to mainstream wetlands preservation into their ordinary activities. A meeting was held on 12 - 13 June 2017 in Slovenia including a training session on wetland contracts based on the French and Italian experiences. This is an initiative that highlights the relevance of a participatory governance model by users within an ecosystem-based management approach.
SAVE THE DATE - 23, 24 and 25 October 2017 - Bridging science and practice to protect the Mediterranean
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