There is no effective conservation of the marine environment without effective management, and there is no effective management without sustainable financing… But in the Mediterranean, almost all MPA managers consider that their financial needs to manage their MPAs effectively are not covered. There is therefore a funding gap between available resources and needs*, which needs to be reduced.

But how can this be achieved? Compress expenditure? Optimise existing funding? Identify new sources of funding? A well-constructed and realistic business plan will help to find the right answers.

To assist MPA managers in developing their business plan, MedPAN, Brijuni National Park and the BlueSeeds team now offer practical training.

This highly operational training module provides methodologies and turnkey tools to help managers analyse their financial data and develop a solid business plan in line with their management objectives. At the end of the training, participants will master the concepts and tools of financial planning and will be able to develop and manage autonomously a business plan and a sustainable financial strategy. In order to promote a good integration of skills within the MPA, the training is followed in tandem by the manager and the financial manager of each MPA.

Training kick-off on 13 January 2021
Training kick-off on 13 January 2021

Due to the health crisis, the first session of this training, which was initially planned as a face-to-face session in Brijuni (Croatia), has been redesigned in an online format: for four weeks, from 13 January to 5 February 2021, the participants will alternate phases of independent work on their business plans using the “MedPLAN” tool** and video tutorials, and bilateral work sessions with the trainers. A well thought-out approach to enable individualised support for MPAs as close as possible to their needs.

Nine MPA management organisations, members of the MedPAN network, were selected for this first session: Mediterranean Conservation Society (Turkey), AMP Penisola del Sinis – Isola di Mal di Ventre (Italy), Portofino MPA (Italy), Public Institution Nature of Šibenik Knin County (Croatia), SPNL (Lebanon), Tyre Coast Nature Reserve (Lebanon), Landscape Park Strunjan (Slovenia), Landscape Park Debeli rtič (Slovenia), and Ashtum El- Gamil Protectorate (Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency) in Egypt.

Unsuccessful applications (around 50 in total) will be considered for future sessions, as this training on Business Planning for MPAs is part of the MedPAN network’s Regular Training Programme and is intended to be repeated over time.

All the teaching materials used during this training will soon be made available to the MPA community on the MedPAN website.

This training is financially supported by the Interreg Med MPA NETWORKS project, the MAVA foundation, the COGITO project and the French Biodiversity Office.

*Binet, T., Diazabakana, A., Hernandez, S. 2015. Sustainable financing of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean: a financial analysis. Vertigo Lab, MedPAN, RAC/SPA, WWF Mediterranean. 114 pp.

** This tool was developed in 2015 by Vertigo Lab, MedPAN, WWf and SPA/RAC and updated in 2020 by Blue Seeds