The 11th General Assembly of the MedPAN network was held on 12 November 2018 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Some 70 members and partners took part in this day, which is an important event in the life of the network.

2018 MedPAN General Assembly and 10-year anniversary

This meeting was an opportunity to review the activities and achievements of the network in 2018, to vote for the 2019 programme of activities, and to attend to the governance business of the association: 2 new partners were approved – Nature Conservation Egypt and Croatia’s Marine Explorers Society – 20000 Leagues -, 3 existing partners were renewed (partners are elected for a period of 3 years) – INCA in Albania, WWF Grece and AGIR in Morocco. The network now brings together 8 founding members, 60 members et 48 partners from 19 Mediterranean countries.See the full list of members and partners.

The board of directors also saw some changes with WWF Mediterranean leaving and the Consortium of Management of Portofino MPA in Italy entering. The 4 outgoing members who asked for re-election were re-elected.  See the updated composition of the Board of directors.

The afternoon was dedicated to present, discuss and vote on the 2019-2023 strategy of the MedPAN network as well as its financial strategy. These strategies were developed in consultation with network members and partners, using the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation.

The new strategy that was adopted at the end of the day builds on the existing achievements of the network while introducing improvements to the current ways of working. The highlights are as follows:

The new strategy:

  • maintains technical support to MPA at local level (capacity-building, knowledge), including through joint actions at Mediterranean level (harmonized monitoring, multi-MPA thematic projects…), while reinforcing strategic action at national, European, Mediterranean and International level (awareness, policy implementation and funding) and reinforcing the link between local experience and decision-making processes.
  • maintains the current internal organisation, best practices and experience of the network, while being more outcome-oriented and eager to multiply its impact and to adapt to the new context, challenges and opportunities in the Mediterranean region and worldwide.
  • introduces a major evolution that aims to find new ways of acting as a network: decentralization to members, mobilisation and synergies with partners in the Mediterranean, establishment of thematic working groups, but also creation of new connections with national and sub-regional networks as well regional networks of MPA managers worldwide.
  • recommends to focus on priority MPA-related topics : small-scale fisheries, sustainable tourism, mobile species, climate change, financing and management effectiveness.
  • urges to enlarge and secure funding for the networking activities.

The strategy document will be worked into an easy-to-understand communications tool early 2019.

2018 also marked the 10th birthday of the MedPAN association that was celebrated after the General Assembly and during the now traditional local aperitif. A warm and welcoming assembly gathered around Purificiacio Canals, MedPAN’s chairwoman, who first unveiled a large poster gathering over 350 friendly faces of the network and then went on to recall where MedPAN comes from and what was achieved in the last 10 years. Visit the 10-year anniversary page to take a look at the celebration and the history.