Protected areas management

The Management of Protected Areas aims at supporting the conservation of terrestrial, coastal and marine areas through the promotion of the networks of ecologically protected areas in the Mediterranean region, and following national and international laws based on the best available scientific information.

There are more than 50 protected areas participating as pilot sites or partners in the Interreg Biodiversity Protection Community of projects. They constitute the real scenario where pioneer activities to preserve Mediterranean biodiversity and ecosystems along with the services they provide are taking place. Though these are mainly coastal and marine areas, wetlands are a key component in this community as vital ecosystems providing essential services to humans and biodiversity including water purification and nesting habitat for a wide range of fauna and flora.

The involvement of protected areas in the various countries where the current 9 biodiversity protection projects are taking place ranges from the testing of new governance methodologies for a sustainable use of wetlands and cooperation structures with traditional fishermen to pilot research for the development of common monitoring protocols for marine litter and training workshops to assist protected area managers in biodiversity protection.  Others are involved as associated partners and play somehow a different role, keen to learn from and disseminate best practices from the initiatives carried out by their peers.

To mainstream the management efforts carried out by the Interreg MED Community of protected areas, PANACeA has started establishing links among these key actors by identifying those areas where several initiatives are taking place and fostering the transferability of results within the Interreg Med network and beyond. For this, a working group on the Management of Protected Areas has been established to facilitate coordination, encourage exchanges and promote the multiplication of sites benefitting from the activities and work under way by the different projects.  ACT4LITTER, AMARE, ECOSUSTAIN, MEDSEALITTER, MPA-ADAPT and WETNET are among the modular projects to be mainly involved in the activities, including other external stakeholders.

Synergies and similar objectives to pursue can be identified within main axes and targets of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), as well as the objectives of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD):

  •     MSSD, objective 2.3: Promote networks of ecologically protected areas at national and Mediterranean level and enhance stakeholder awareness on the value of ecosystem services and the implications of biodiversity loss
  •     Conservation of terrestrial, coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information (SDG 14.5, 15.1 & 15.4)