Author: Fabio Vallarola

The network of Adriatic marine and coastal protected areas, AdriaPAN-Adriatic Protected Areas Network, celebrated its tenth anniversary on Wednesday 26 September in San Benedetto del Tronto, hosted by Sentina Nature Reserve, with the event “10 years of AdriaPAN, past and future”. The event was attended by representatives of the marine and coastal protected areas of the Adriatic basin, representatives of the Abruzzo Region and the Adriatic Ionian Initiative and members of local and national associations.

During the institutional ceremony held in the morning, there was also the delivery of a photo by Giuseppe PIGNOTTI winner of the EUinMyRegion European Competition, to the Abruzzo Region Councilor Luciano MONTICELLI, Mayor of the Municipality of Pineto when the Cerrano Charter (founding act of AdriaPAN) was signed; to the Executive Officer of the IAI-Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, Filippo ALABARDI, an institution that recognized AdriaPAN in 2013, and lastly, to the representatives of the Miramare Marine Reserve, Carlo FRANZOSINI and Saul CIRIACO, who have promoted and co-managed the network in these years.

We discussed the results achieved by the network and the commitments for future years based on new projects and the extension of the network to the protected areas of the Ionian Sea in order to reach a territorial coincidence with the Adriatic-Ionian Macro Region.

In particular, we confirmed some important strategic aspects already contained in the AdrioNET project, presented in the last INTERREG Adrion call, but without being funded in the first session:

  1. the need to extend the network to the Ionian Sea (from AdriaPAN to AdrIonPAN), both for environmental continuity and for consistency with respect to the Adriatic-Ionian Macro Region and its strategy (EUSAIR);
  2. the need to evaluate the transition to a defined legal form in order to represent an even stronger and more active reference point, both for protected areas and for institutions at different levels. In this regard, we highlighted that MedPAN included as a strategic objective the strengthening of sub-regional networks for the period 2019-2023.
  3. The need to continue the elaboration of projects focused on different topics, such as biodiversity, ecosystem services and adaptation to climate change, integrating these issues with sustainable tourism oriented towards the use of cultural and environmental assets that are currently overlooked (for example: underwater archaeology and projects promoted by the Envix-Lab of the University of Molise).

Finally, the importance of organizing a face-to-face meeting of AdriaPAN members within the next few months was also highlighted, possibly in the context of MedPAN activities. Looking to the “MedPAN Strategy 2019-2023 and beyond” where is stated, in the “Result 2: Active networks of MPA actors at all levels”, that: «MedPAN volunteer members (“the medpañeros”) will support MPA managers’ networking mechanisms in their own countries and/or at sub-regional level. Different “formula” and ways of acting can be found depending on the context of the country or the sub-region and the needs that can be punctual or permanent [and] If needed, MedPAN can also support improvement or creation of new Regional networks of MPA managers worldwide».