The Interreg MED Biodiversity protection community organised in collaboration with the FAO GFCM the workshop “Promoting co-management as an innovative tool for the sustainable use of marine natural resources” within the FAO GFCM Fish Forum, 10th December 2018 in Roma.
This event intended to promote co-management as an efficient and promising innovative tool for the sustainable development and use of marine natural resources in the Mediterranean region.
The event showcased experiences of co-management best practices from several Interreg Med co-financed projects (FishMAPBlue2, CONFISH, PHAROS4MPAs) of the Biodiversity Protection Community, as well as research results and recommendations from other relevant initiatives, such as DESTIMED, and different actors involved in the co-management approach, such as universities (University of Nice and University of Zagreb), research institutes (ISPRA), networks (FARNET) and NGOs (WWF), regional authorities (Government of the Balearic islands) and MPA managing bodies (Torre Guaceto marine protected area).
The discussion focused on why and to what extent co-management is a key tool and an opportunity for the sustainable development of Mediterranean small-scale fisheries. Panellists provided insights on the definition of co-management as a mechanism for balancing powers and responsibilities among local stakeholders, namely artisanal fishermen and MPA managing bodies.
While addressing the multi-stakeholder involvement and participatory approach and on how to move from theory to practice and how to create ownership and raise awareness for integrated MPA management, it was clearly expressed and agreed by the speakers that building trust and being completely transparent and clearly sharing agendas around the table are key. A good and neutral facilitator is also clearly needed and can support the achievement of a successful co-management model.
Finally, the workshop discussion addressed how to expand and transfer best practices in order to reach a common integration of co-management in the Mediterranean region, highlight key aspects such as networking, considering a mixed approach that allows switching from a one-way top-down approach to a multilevel governance model, and more flexibility. Having a common perspective in which many countries share the main space is an important framing for a common integration of co-management in small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean.