Entitled “European marine cooperation in the Mediterranean and beyond: networks of marine protected area managers, key allies!“, this event takes place on Thursday 12 May from 15:00 to 17:00 CEST.

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According to the latest assessment (Protected planet 2020), the past decade has seen substantial gains in protected areas coverage. The greatest growth over the 10-year period has been in marine and coastal areas, where 68% of the protected areas is less than ten years old. Further efforts are however still needed to ensure that all areas of importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services are conserved. Looking forward, the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and the EU 2030 Biodiversity strategy provide a real opportunity to ensure that future efforts take into account both the quantity and quality of protected and conserved areas in equal measure. In this regard, the networks of MPA managers are key. The best available scientific information confirms indeed that, to protect biodiversity and manage resources, well-managed and representative MPA networks across seas and oceans are critical.

The 12 May event will launch a series of three meetings on MPA networks aiming at giving a useful insight on different MPA networks’ activities and their instrumental role for the achievements of the EU Biodiversity strategy, the EU marine cooperation and the Global Biodiversity Framework. Moreover, this series will also provide an excellent opportunity to discuss the EU marine ambition with the idea of a One Blue Belt bolstering international cooperation between MPA networks across the globe. More background info about the events.

This first event will be mainly focused on the capacity of networks of MPA managers to support EU policies implementation, in the Mediterranean and other European Seas. It is coordinated by MedPAN in the framework of the Interreg-Med MPA NETWORKS project and in collaboration with the EU Ocean Governance project.

The event will be co-hosted by Stéphane Bijoux and Catherine Chabaud. Mr Bijoux is Member of the European Parliament and Co-Chair of the ‘Islands and Overseas Entities’ Working Group of the European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development’. Ms Chabaud is a Member of the European Parliament as well. The event will bring together Members of the European Parliament, networks of MPA managers from across the globe and experts.

The 2nd event, planned in Autumn 2022, will be focused on the strategic role of networks of MPA managers at European, regional and global level. The 3rd event, planned early 2023, will be focused on networks and their cooperation as tools for EU foreign policy. They will be coordinated in the framework of the EU Ocean Governance project.