In September 2019, Port-Cros National Park will host a 3-day training on mapping marine habitat, species and pressure in shallow coastal waters. This highly operational training course is intended for Marine Protected Area (MPA) field staff in charge of monitoring. The training will include classroom sessions to present theory and data analysis concepts as well as field exercises based on snorkel methodologies.

This training is developed by MedPAN in collaboration with Port-Cros National Park, Calanques National Park and Septentrion Environnement. It is based on the approach described in the methodological guide Snorkel surveys of the marine environment (Imbert M., Bonhomme P. 2014.), which has also been adapted into a series of video tutorials.(English subtitles available – click on the subtitles icon on the video.)

A large number of members and partners of the MedPAN network showed interest in participating in this training since the MedPAN secretariat received 48 applications from 15 countries.  As capacity is limited to 8 participants, a selection process is underway. Participants who are not selected for the September edition of this training should not be too disappointed however as this training will be repeated in the near future.

Indeed, MedPAN and its partners are working on the development and the implementation of a permanent regional training programme, focusing on the basics of MPA management. The coastal marine habitat mapping training is the first of a set of trainings that will be available in several training centres around the Mediterranean.

The marked interest in this first hands-on training is encouraging for MedPAN that wishes to contribute to addressing the training needs of Mediterranean MPAs.  Support to MPA managers capacity[1] development is at the heart of MedPAN network’s activities and the permanent training programme seems to be off to a good start.

The September coastal marine habitat mapping training is made possible by the financial support of the MAVA foundation, the FFEM through the COGITO project gathering MedPAN, WWF Mediterranean, the Conservatoire du littoral and PIM as well as UNEP/MAP through the “MedMPA network” project financed by the European Union.

[1] Capacities refer to the ability of individuals, organisations and societies to define and achieve their own development objectives.