A successful first capacity building workshop addressing climate change and Marine Protected Areas focused on the Adriatic-Ionian region

The Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community (MBPC) organised its first capacity building workshop on “Climate Change and Marine Protected Area: current state and further steps related to mitigation and adaptation of MPAs”. This online event, which gathered more than 50 people and 14 speakers from diverse European and Mediterranean countries, focused on mitigation and adaptation tools for MPAs in the Adriatic Ionian area in order to counter the effects of climate change on its ecosystems.

 

The online workshop was divided in two sessions and had its first part dedicated to Montenegro and the Adriatic-Ionian region. The necessity to use an ecosystem-based approach to address particular issues strongly affecting the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion biodiversity, was presented by Dania Abdul Malak from ETC-UMA, University of Malaga. The AMAre project presented their actions and highlighted the lack of data and synergies within and outside MPAs preventing efficient biodiversity protection and key to further develop sustainable management measures. Representatives of the Montenegrin Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism (MSDT) presented their current initiatives and ongoing projects to address climate change at both regional and national levels, and shared their experiences and lessons learned. Speakers from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) C/MPA project and from MPA NETWORKS could finally give the participants key technical information on how to create and empower MPAs.

The second and longest part of the MBPC capacity building webinar aimed to introduce different data and tools to monitor, mitigate and adapt to climate change in marine protected areas. Specialists from Italy (CNR-IRBIM and Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN), Polytechnic University of Marche and PADI EMEA for South Italy) and Spain (the Seville Institute of Microelectronics (IMSE) the University of Vigo – Future Oceans Lab) provided participants with their unique experiences, knowledge and innovative tools, touching on different main topics and projects such as: supporting MPA management in the climate change era (MPA-Engage), monitoring in a harmonised way the climate change impacts in MPAs, assessing the ecological and socio-economic vulnerability of MPAs to climate change (Future Oceans Lab) and how to engage local communities in citizen science activities. To conclude this session, experiences from two MPAs in the Adriatic (Brijuni National Park in Croatia, and Torre Guaceto in Italy) were presented as interesting feedbacks directly from the field.

Lastly, this first capacity building workshop successfully occurred thanks to all attendees’ presence and participation through the different Q&A sessions and live polls. These allowed the participants and our partners to help the MBPC identify accurate topics and shared concerns for next capacity building webinars.

This has been the first capacity building session addressing key institutions in Montenegro and the next one focused on Montenegro about marine litter and pollution will take place on May 2021 (date to be confirmed) Stay tuned for the future meetings!