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Blue Economy and Marine Conservation: Safeguarding Mediterranean MPAs in order to achieve Good Environmental Status

The development of Blue Economy and Maritime Spatial Planning in the Mediterranean represents a transnational challenge for MPAs. Many maritime sectors are likely to operate more frequently inside and in the vicinity of MPAs with expected growing environmental impacts, while at the same time, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires to reach Good Environmental Status of the European Seas by 2020.

Numerous EU projects and other public initiatives have published results and issued recommendations regarding MPAs and their interactions with economic sectors but an integrated approach for the Mediterranean is clearly lacking.

The PHAROS4MPAs project seeks to capitalise on existing results, and ultimately deliver an integrated framework for recommendations on the necessary practical collaboration between Mediterranean MPAs and 8 maritime sectors.

PHAROS4MPAs in numbers

The overall goal of the PHAROS4MPAs project is to increase the management effectiveness of Mediterranean MPAs through an adequate inclusion of their issues in the national maritime spatial plans that EU Mediterranean States are developing by 2021, as well as in ICZM plans and in maritime sectors’ strategies.

Ultimately, the project will contribute to maintaining marine biodiversity and ecosystems through strengthening the management and networking of Mediterranean MPAs.

The approach of this project is it to put all parties on an equal foot – from MPA managers, to MSP authorities and business sectors representatives – and create the conditions for a sustainable blue economy and a healthy marine environment in and around MPAs.

Outcomes include delivering common capitalization baselines, recommendations and policy tools adapted to appropriation by the MedPAN network, MSP authorities, the European Commission, the Barcelona Convention and the various maritime sectors

The work will be developed around 3 main steps/phases:

  1. Building the project’s capitalization baselines and recommendations by December 2018
  2. Producing the recommendations and building the capacity of the partners to be the ambassadors of the recommendations content by March 2019
  3. Disseminating the outcomes documents to the key target groups by July 2019 and convince them of the benefits of the recommendations.