Although the 11th Monaco Blue Initiative was cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crises, The Foundation Prince Albert II invited nearly 80 leading personalities to meet virtually on Thursday 28 May 2020 to talk about: “How can we place Marine Protected Areas and Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures at the centre of international discussions and act collectively for their development?”
Purificacio Canals, President of MedPAN and Marie Romani, Executive Secretary took part in this virtual edition to share the below statement:
” To achieve post-2020 MPA targets, beyond the creation of new MPAs and more strong protection that is absolutely needed in the future, it will be also crucial to ensure effective management of MPAs (meaning adequate human and material capacity as well as skills) and to ensure adequate and sustainable financing of MPAs. As His Serene Highness Prince Albert said in the opening of the session.
To do so, effective operational tools are needed such as networks of MPA managers (such as MedPAN in the Mediterranean); and trust funds/environmental funds for MPAs (such as the MedFund in the Mediterranean) working together with other MPA actors.
Existing national, sub-regional and regional human networks of MPAs, in the Mediterranean and in other Regional Seas, are successful in gathering MPA managers facing the same challenges. Networks make possible to generate creativity, problem-solving, build capacities and to share resources among MPAs. Networks make also possible to create the needed linkages between MPA actions on the ground and decision-making processes related to MPAs at national, regional and international levels.
Acting collectively and joining forces is needed more than ever to face ocean challenges.
In the years to come, building marine communities that connect planners, managers, decision-makers, scientists, civil society, donors and stakeholders –especially small-scale fishers – will be key to work towards healthy, sustainable ocean and coasts. “