MedPAN’s next regional experience-sharing workshop will focus on “the management of highly mobile species across Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas” (MPAs). It will take place on 12-14 November 2019 in Akyaka, Turkey, in association with the Mediterranean Conservation Society (MCS) and several partners. 

Akyaka was chosen to host this workshop as it is the location of the Specially Environmental Protected Area of Gökova, the largest Turkish MPA, famous for its work with fisheries but also home to a number of mobile species such as monk seals, turtles or sharks. The Economist, the famous British newspaper, actually recently released a video showcasing the work led by the MCS in Gökova… Take a look at the video.

Conservation issues for highly mobile species explicitly emphasize the added value of monitoring and management network-based approaches across Mediterranean MPAs: highly mobile species are committing MPAs to a form of “ecological solidarity” and to collaborations beyond the local level. The overall purpose of the workshop is to allow MPA managers, project leaders and stakeholders to pool and share information, expertise and experiences, take stock on the current challenges for the conservation of highly mobile species and build long-term approaches to implement solutions together.

The specific objectives of the workshop can be summarised as follows:

  • Provide an overview of the strategies, policies, projects and programmes for the conservation of highly mobile species in the Mediterranean in order to highlight what can be practically done in line with existing initiatives.
  • Help MPA managers understand how they can effectively contribute to the conservation of highly mobile species at the broader Mediterranean scale.
  • Help MPAs identify targeted measures to ensure effective management of highly mobile species.
  • Foster monitoring and management network-based approaches for the conservation of highly mobile species in their different habitats.
  • Demonstrate how species can be an effective means of motivating stakeholders engagement in MPA management.
  • Contribute to identify gaps and needs at the national and regional level, in particular concerning important areas that should be protected through MPAs or other conservation tools.

Beyond opening and closing plenary sessions, the workshop will be mainly based on breakout sessions focused on management topics considered as priority by MPA managers. A total of 18 sessions are scheduled during the workshop. Each session is introduced by two or three 10-minute MPA case studies to illustrate the issue addressed and set the groundwork for a constructive discussion. Here is a link to the draft programme.

Just ahead of the workshop, MedPAN will hold its 12th General Assembly. Just after, the MedFund, the trust fund dedicated to strengthening Mediterranean MPAs, will organise a 2-day training.

Spaces for the workshop are limited and invitations to register have been sent to those who have shown an interest in participating. If you were not in the loop but would like to partake, please contact Pierre Vignes at the MedPAN Secretariat.