MedPan/MPA Network training on the conservation of marine turtles at sea in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

The training is based on an operational approach aimed at providing trainees with sufficient background, expertise and experience to design and implement a marine turtle in-water monitoring and management strategy adapted to their needs and resources in an integrated global context.

Please note that the training will be repeated over time. In case of unavailability on the scheduled dates, we therefore encourage you to respond so that your application can be considered for future sessions.

MedPAN, the network of Mediterranean Marine Protected Area managers, and the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (Greece) are organising a training on the conservation of marine turtles at sea in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) with the technical support of Alan Rees.

This highly operational 4-day training course will be hosted by the National Marine park of Zakynthos (Greece) from 26 to 29 October 2020 (subject to the evolution of the COVID epidemic and related constraints). The session will consist of both classroom and field training. This training benefits financial support from the EU Interreg Med MPA NETWORKS project, the MAVA Foundation, the FFEM COGITO project, an the OFB (French Biodiversity Office). The training is intended for MPA management bodies and organisations involved with MPAs in the monitoring and protection of marine turtles.

If you are interested in this training, we invite you to respond to this call for expression of interest answering the questionnaire at the link below. Please note that the training will be repeated over time. In case of unavailability on the scheduled dates, we therefore encourage you to respond so that your application can be considered for future sessions.

https://www.medpanwebforms.org/index.php/369836?token=cJQbpGgnixSjEeR&lang=en

Training approach:

The training is based on an operational approach aimed at providing trainees with sufficient background, expertise and experience to design and implement a marine turtle in-water monitoring and management strategy adapted to their needs and resources in an integrated global context.

This training is therefore designed to provide MPAs with answers to their local management issues, while contributing to knowledge and conservation on a larger scale in an integrated and coordinated approach. The proposed protocols will allow for the evaluation of local threats and stressors on marine turtle populations such as fisheries interaction and indicate relevant data collection methods consistent with monitoring implemented at the Mediterranean scale.

The training will also provide some keys on how to mitigate these pressures based on feedback and understanding of the process to identify relevant solutions in each specific context.

As funding of management activities is always a key issue for MPAs, different solutions will be tackled and discussed, including partnerships for monitoring, collaborative projects, funding organisations, etc.

The training takes place over 4 days, including both classroom-based theory and practical exercises and field time with additional practical exercises.

The training will be programmed in a logical sequence, addressing successively the different steps required for the development and implementation of an adaptive management strategy (context, objectives, needs and constraints, methodology, protocols, financing, logistics, implementation of monitoring and measures, evaluation, adaptation).

Operational and learning objectives of the training:

-Provide trainees with basic knowledge of marine turtle ecology allowing them to better understand the issues related to their MPA. At the end of the training, trainees should be able to:
- know how to recognize marine turtle species found in the Mediterranean;

- have a good understanding of marine turtle conservation status and challenges in the Mediterranean (threats and interactions with human activities);

- identify the threats marine turtles face in the MPA (and the role of the MPA according to the marine turtles’ demographic life-stages) 

Provide trainees with practical skills to master cost-effective standard protocols providing answers to their management issues, while at the same time contributing to knowledge and conservation on a larger scale in an integrated and coordinated approach. At the end of the training, trainees should be able to:

- understand and apply relevant marine turtle monitoring protocols;

- know how to create simple maps in GIS software and interrogate data in spreadsheet databases;

- know and understand the management value of collected data;

Provide trainees with skills to identify effective management measures to address the various pressures and threats that marine turtles face in their MPA. At the end of the training, trainees should be able to:

- identify existing management tools to assess current and future needs to ensure the good conservation status of marine turtles;

- identify management measures and tools to implement to address pressures and threats exerted on the marine turtles;

Provide trainees with financing options to support the implementation of monitoring campaigns and management measures. At the of the training, trainees should be able to

- identify potential financing mechanisms;

- identify opportunities for collaborations to support the implementation of monitoring campaigns, management measures and tools.

Trainees profile and selection

This highly operational training is intended for field staff of MPAs or organisations involved in the management of MPAs (field officer, technician or scientific officer), in charge of monitoring the marine environment.

Trainees may already be involved and experienced in marine turtle monitoring and conservation, or they may be beginners who need to be trained to meet their MPA needs.

Training is limited to 10 to 15 trainees. Depending on the requests for participation received in response to this call for expressions of interest, the training will be repeated over time.

The selection will give priority to MPAs expressing a clear need for training with concrete and short-term prospects for the implementation of a marine turtle conservation strategy. For that reason, the selection will also be attentive to the motivation of the trainees to share the knowledge acquired from the training within their team and to their legitimacy to implement monitoring and management activities in the MPA.

Conditions of participation and logistics.

The participation expenses of the selected trainees will be covered by MedPAN and the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (including training costs, travel, accommodation and meals).

All logistics, including flight bookings, airport transfers, accommodation, meals, will be coordinated by the organisers.

We remind you that the training takes place over 4 days from 26 to 29 October 2020. Trainees will therefore arrive on Sunday 25 October and leave on Friday 30 October.

To participate in the training, trainees will have to present a negative COVID test of less than 5 days (at their own expense).