WG2 Sustainable use of natural resources

Despite major efforts made by political leaders, private sector and civil society to address the challenge of how to sustainably and responsibly harness the enormous economic opportunities of existing and/or emerging Mediterranean economic sectors (e.g. marine energies, maritime transport, fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture, etc.) the Mediterranean region is still facing an important ecological deficit. Its natural resources are put at stake as habitats are degraded, and the demand is two and half times higher than what its ecosystems can produce.

The Working Group 2 "Sustainable use of natural resources" aims to provide practical solutions and recommendations, bringing together scientists, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to support and adopt those measures. Such an innovative ecosystem-based management approach is only possible if there is a common understanding of the existing interdependencies and reciprocal influence between natural resources on one hand and the needs for economic growth on the other.

The Biodiversity Protection Community coordinates this Working Group 2 to address the issue of the sustainable use of resources in the Mediterranean area, with a particular focus on artisanal fisheries developed from 2016 to 2019. Several modular projects of the Biodiversity protection community shared common challenges to be tackled through discussions, exchange of best practices, research, and projects results. It mainly involved the projects CONFISH, FISHMPABLUE2, WETNET and PHAROS4MPAs and other various external stakeholders.


In its second phase, the Sustainable use of natural resources Working Group organises its activities having in sight three points of objectives:

  1. To exchange tested methodologies and present evidence-based solutions through networking activities and capacity building workshops.
  2. To address multilevel policies and structural governance issues in various countries.
  3. To identify, disseminate and support ‘’sustainable management approaches’’ towards promoting new management schemes at local, regional and EU levels.

In particular, at policy level, the Working Group on the Sustainable use of resources aims to support the GFCM management plans, 2017 Malta declaration for sustainability for Mediterranean fisheries and the EU Common fisheries policy. Synergies can also be found with the 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). For its second phase, the working group 2 pursue a transferring and capitalisation work to further identify, transfer and support the development of “sustainable management approaches” towards promoting new management schemes at local, regional and EU levels. It also widen the scope of its activities focusing on subtopics including:

  • Fisheries, Sustainable management in fisheries (action on overfishing, illegal or unreported and unregulated fishing and destructing fishing practices)
  • Small Scale Fisheries, Action on awareness raising on sustainable development and use of natural resources, Involvement of local communities
  • Participatory approaches, co-management, Stakeholders engagement, Citizen science, Governance models
  • Sustainable use of coastal ecosystems, coastal areas, and Land-Sea Interactions
  • Water, Sustainable use of wetlands, rivers, lakes ecosystems, Water quality


The modular projects co-financed by the Interreg Med programme to be mainly involved in WG2 are:

  • MPA-Adapt / MPA-Engage: Building resilience and adaptation to Climate Change impacts in Marine Protected Areas and raising awareness on the importance of citizen science.
  • MPA-NETWORKS: setting strong human networks for effective Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean.
  • POSBEMED (I and II): Sustainable management and awareness raising on the value of Posidonia oceanica beaches and dunes in the Mediterranean coastal region.
  • PHAROS4MPAs: Regional recommendations to maritime sectors to minimise the environmental risks of the Blue Growth strategy.
  • CONFISH: Connectivity among Mediterranean fishery stakeholders and scientists resolves connectivity of fishery populations
  • FISHMPABLUE2: Fishers and marine protected areas, a partnership for sustainability in the Mediterranean
  • WETNET: coordinated management and networking of Mediterranean wetlands
  • TUNE UP: Promoting multilevel governance for tuning up biodiversity protection in marine areas.

Other projects, in and outside the community, might be invited to contribute to the WG2 activities

 The CPMR and its Intermediterranean Commission lead the animation of the Working Group 2, providing support through its regional network and advocacy activities to the transferring and capitalisation objectives of the WG2 and the Biodiversity Protection community.

The WG2 will be showcasing its work during the next two years, particularly through EU and Mediterranean events and publications identified to date and adapting to the new Mediterranean scenario and policy agenda changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An online shared calendar of events is available and regularly updated with opportunities to participate and organise joint activities.