In addition to the 7 projects that were selected in the framework of the specific Call for Small Projects launched in October 2017, 7 other projects have been approved as part of the regular Call for Small Projects. These projects have an average duration of 12 to 18 months and are in the process of being started. They are funded thanks to the support of the MAVA and the Albert II of Monaco Foundations.

This regular Call for Small Projects was open to all Mediterranean countries. Projects funded are located in Albania, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy, Lebanon, Montenegro and Spain.

The next MedPAN Call for Small Projects will be launched in autumn 2018.

Albania – Albanian Centre for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development

Karaburun-Sazan Marine National Park and Torre-Guaceto MPA

Project title : Strengthen collaboration between the MPAs of the Adriatic Sea, while adapting the successful experience of fishermen’s involvement in the management of the Torre Guaceto MPA in Karaburun-Sazani MPA

Topic : Sustainable management of fisheries

Objective of the project :

The Karaburun-Sazan Marine National Park, created in 2010, is the 1st MPA established in Albania. Fishing is only allowed in certain areas and only fishers holding a permit issued by the marine area management authorities are allowed to access it. In the last 3 years, management measures have been expanded and MPA managers want to improve fishers-management collaboration and strengthen the involvement of fishers in the management of the MPA. They plan to strengthen the effectiveness of management measures and fisheries monitoring activities in the territory. Albanian managers expect to build on the experience of the Italian MPA of Torre-Guaceto, also located in the Adriatic Sea, which is a success story of small-scale fisher’s involvement in the management of fisheries in an MPA.

Indeed, the Torre-Guaceto MPA succeeded in overcoming the crisis between fishers and local authorities concerning the ban on fishing in the MPA when it was established in 2001. With the support of scientists, an agreement between fishers and managers was found to open certain areas to a regulated fishery co-managed by fishers and local authorities. Today, MPA fishers are key players in the definition of management measures and the effects on the resource are visible.

This small project will thus make it possible to finance several meetings between fishers and managers of the two MPAs. The exchanges between these players will enable the sharing of knowledge and will give Albanian players the opportunity to study in the field the management and monitoring methods implemented in the Italian MPA. Albanian protagonists will be able to adapt these experiences to Karaburun-Sazan MPA in order to build a management and sustainable development strategy for fisheries. These exchanges will also strengthen the links between the playes of these two MPAs in the Adriatic, which will enable them to work together on common issues, such as invasive species for example.

This project is also a continuation of a project entitled “Developing Co-management Approaches for Sustainable Fisheries in the Karaburuni-Sazani Marine Protected Area”, funded by MedPAN in 2015. This project had notably promoted the preservation of fish species in the MPA and had established data exchange practices between fishers and managers.

Total budget: 27 500€

MedPAN financing: 20 500€

Croatia –Ruđer Bošković Institute

Krka Mouth Natura 2000 site

Project title : Nautical Tourism Ecological Footprint in MPAs

Topic : Sustainable management of tourism

Project objective :

The Krka estuary, in Croatia, is particularly famous for its landscapes. The waters of the estuary are protected in a Natura 2000 site, while a national park covers all the river’s banks. The beauty of the estuary’s landscapes attracts many tourists and sea traffic has increased significantly in recent years. This large number of visitors induces many pressures on the environment, such the release in water of copper, a component of antifouling paints. Facing the current lack of monitoring, the Ruđer Bošković Institute plans to study through this project the site’s nautical use and concentration changes of chemical pollutants, in particular copper. This study will highlight the potential relationships between nautical activities and pollutant concentration variations, develop monitoring indicators and make recommendations for the sustainable management of nautical activities and pollution prevention. This project will also enable the Ruđer Bošković Institute to report the results to national and international authorities.

Total budget : 28 000 €

MedPAN financing : 19 500 €

Cyprus – Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre

Kakoskali marine protected area project

Project title : Enhancing participation of stakeholders in the Kakoskali Marine Protected Area

Topic : Stakeholders involvement in marine protected areas management

Objective of the project :

The Chersonisos Akama Natura 2000 site, located in northwestern Cyprus, is an area of ​​great importance for Cypriot marine biodiversity. However, it currently doesn’t have an effective management system. The Kakoskali marine protected area project, which has been under discussion for more than five years, aims to establish a zoning for restricting access to fishing and recreational activities in this territory. The project, initially supported by the NGO Enalia Physis environmental research centre and supported by fishers, must be validated by the Cypriot government authorities in charge of MPA management. Faced with the many changes in the project’s boundaries and the difficulty in communicating with the government authorities, fishers are reacting more and more negatively to the project and are withdrawing from discussions, like other players. However, fishers will be most concerned by access restrictions and their absence from discussions would weaken the effectiveness of management measures, or even question the feasibility of the MPA project.

This project, led by the NGO Enalia Physis, aims to remobilise local stakeholders, especially fishers, in the MPA project. To achieve this, Enalia Physis expects to improve communication with government authorities and allow significant involvement of local stakeholders in the management of the future MPA. Several consultation meetings will be organised with government authorities to better understand the perception of local players and find an agreement regarding the perimeter of the different areas of the MPA. This project will also lay the foundations for the establishment of an MPA management committee, made up of local stakeholder’s representatives, which would be a first for Cypriot MPAs where there is no consultation instances of this kind.

Total budget : 26 650 €

MedPAN financing : 20 000 €

Italy – Municipality of Lampedusa And Linosa

Marine Protected Area of Pelagie islands

Project title : Monitoring and management of nesting sites in the Pelagie Islands MPA

Topic : marine turtle preservation ; impacts of climate change

Project objective :

The MPA of Pelagie Islands in Italy is an important nesting site for sea turtles and in particular for loggerhead turtles. The success rate of the turtles’ nesting activities and certain physiological characteristics (sex, shape of the carapace for example) are determined by environmental factors of the nest (temperature, humidity, distance to the sea, sand’s granulometry). These parameters are likely to change with climate change, which can have an impact on the success of the nests. There are currently few studies on the relationship between the evolution of these environmental parameters and their impact on the success of the nests and the morphological characteristics of individuals, and no such study has been conducted in Italy. This project, which brings together all the MPAs of the Pelagie Islands, therefore plans to develop protocols and monitor nests’ environmental parameters and study the morphology of young turtles. The results will provide a better understanding of the relationship between these parameters and the effects of climate change on turtle laying. The results will also help to identify and implement appropriated measures for nests’ protection in order to mitigate the effect of climate change.

Total budget : 26 000 €

MedPAN financing : 19 500 €

Lebanon – Palm island natural reserve

Palm island natural reserve

Project title : Sustainable management of marine turtles in Palm Islands Nature Reserve and its surroundings through elimination of threats and promotion of community benefits

Topic : marine turtle preservation

Project objective :

Although the Lebanese coast has environmental characteristics conducive to sea turtles nesting, the degradation of beaches (sand extraction, presence of waste …) has greatly decreased their use by these animals. In 2001, the Lebanese government, in partnership with SPA/RAC, launched a major campaign to identify and monitor potential spawning sites, with the aim of establishing a national action plan for marine turtle conservation. However, the Palm island natural reserve is not included in this plan. This project will allow MPA managers to monitor, protect sea turtles and laying sites and to raisethe awareness of the local population. The project aims to allow a better involvement of the local population in conservation actions and to communicate on the benefits, including for tourism activities, that the presence of the turtles can generate, so that inhabitants become ambassadors of their protection. This project focuses both on the Natural reserve’s laying sites and on those of the mainland beaches facing the reserve, which are used by the same turtle population.

Total budget : 27 400 €

MedPAN financing : 20 000 €

Montenegro – Mediterranean Centre for Environmental Monitoring (MedCEM)

Future MPAs of Platamuni, Katič, Ratac and Stari Ulcinj

Title of the project : Empowering legal fisheries in future Montenegrin MPAs

Topic : Sustainable management of fisheries

Project objective :

Montenegro is one of the last European countries that does not have marine protected areas. The government wants to formalise the establishment of 2 or even 3 MPAs by 2020. However, the authorities are aware that they must win the support of local stakeholders and especially fishers to make these future MPAs effective. Indeed, local players have little confidence in government interventions and fisheries regulations are poorly respected due to the lack of control and sanctions.

This project aims to raise the awareness of fishers and local players to Marine Protected Areas and the benefits they can draw from it in order to win their support. This project, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro, is supported by the MedCEM organisation which has been present for several years in the field and whose position is perceived as neutral by the players. Thus, several workshops will be organised, in the presence of scientists, in order to allow the players to better know the MPAs. Exchange visits in other MPAs in the Adriatic will allow Montenegrin fishers to interact with other fishing communities and MPA managers. A “community voice video”, a video that will give fishers the opportunity to present their individual perception of the MPA project and the issues concerning fishing, will also be produced. This video is based on a methodology developed by the English association Marine Conservation Society and which has already proven its efficiency. This video will give local authorities the opportunity to establish appropriate management measures to direct their actions to gain the adhesion of the local fishers.

* A video presenting the methodology, conducted by the Marine Conservation Society, is available at this link

Total budget : 26 000 €

MedPAN financing : 19 500 €

Spain – University of Girona

Cap de Creus Natural Park

Project title : Benefits and risks of marine protected areas to human health and wellbeing: marine recreational activities in Cap de Creus as a case study

Topic : Supporting the development of business plans and MPAs’ sustainable financing mechanisms

Project objective :

It is scientifically proven that contact with nature and the practice of recreational activities in a natural environment encourages physical activity, improves mental health, reduces disease prevalence and increases life expectancy. The research that led to these results focused mainly on terrestrial natural areas, but recent studies show that the marine environment and the practice of recreational activities related to this environment (diving, boating, etc.) have also very positive effects on well-being and human health. These interactions with the marine environment can also present health risks (production of toxins, exposures to pathogens …) that it is necessary to anticipate. This new scientific discipline, which explores the relationship between the marine environment and human health, remains to be explored. This project, led by the University of Girona, goes in this direction by studying the benefits of leisure activities practiced in marine protected areas for well-being and human health. The chosen case study is the Cap de Creus Natural Park, which hosts many leisure activities and for which data already exist on this topic. The University will thus reinforce the knowledge on this subject and raise managers and stakeholders’ awareness on these topics. These actions will help initiate a dynamics to promote these leisure activities in a view to improving population health and well-being while ensuring the preservation of the environment.

Total budget : 27 000 €

MedPAN financing : 20 000