Climate change is dramatically affecting the Mediterranean Sea and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), despite the nature-based solution they offer to support efforts towards climate change adaptation and mitigation, are the first ones to feel the climate change effects. The Interreg MED project MPA-ENGAGE provided a series of webinars to empower MPAs which need to face climate change effects with an action plan.
The Mediterranean Sea is warming 20% faster than the world’s average
Several Mediterranean MPAs are already facing major biodiversity and functional alterations due to climate change, whereas others will likely face them in the next few decades. There is, therefore, an urgency to mitigate these risks and to consider adaptation options in partnership with local communities, decision-makers, civil society organizations, research bodies, and other socio-economic actors at the local, national and regional level.
MPA-ENGAGE helps MPAs develop a Climate Change adaptation plan
MPA-ENGAGE, led by the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council, is funded by the Interreg MED program with a budget of about 3 million euros. MPA-ENGAGE aims primarily to support Mediterranean MPAs to adapt to and mitigate the ongoing climate change effects in the Mediterranean Sea. Through a participatory approach, MPA-Engage will monitor in a harmonized way the climate change impacts, will elaborate vulnerability assessments and will develop climate change adaptation action plans in 7 Marine Protected Areas located in 6 Mediterranean countries, namely Albania, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain
A series of Webinars to share key materials for MPAs
During 3 weeks in May and June 2020, MPA-ENGAGE offered a 1st Webinar series composed of 3 Units to show how to gather key information needed to develop a climate change adaptation and mitigation action plan.
- 1st Unit provided information about monitoring in a harmonized way the climate change impacts in MPAs. 11 monitoring protocols were presented related to different climate change indicators. A ready-to-use monitoring toolkit is now available, including video tutorials, PowerPoint presentations, Standard Protocols and files for data inputs.
- 2nd Unit tackled assessing climate change vulnerability in Mediterranean MPAs. Participants learnt how to develop a social-ecological vulnerability assessment of MPAs on the impacts of climate change. Guidelines for vulnerability assessments were presented.
- 3rd Unit dealt with engaging local communities in citizen science activities. Participants have been provided with an overview of best practice examples of citizen science initiatives focused on the assessment of climate change effects. The participants acquainted with the methodological approaches for setting up a citizen science activity, with special emphasis on the engagement of diving centres and recreational fishermen.