For the first time since its creation, MedPAN is going to benefit from a grant from the GEF, the Global Environment Facility. This is an important milestone for MedPAN that was made possible thanks to the increasing recognition of the role of MPA manager networks in international institutional circles as well as the unique alliance with The MedFund, the conservation trust fund for Mediterranean MPAs.

Indeed, last December, the 59th GEF Council Meeting approved a project concept developed by MedPAN and The MedFund. This project concept is now part of the Work programme of the GEF Trust Fund.

The project will be launched during the Monaco Blue Initiative on 24 March. The presentation that will be shared is already available as well as a project description.

Entitled “Build back a blue and stronger Mediterranean”, the 5-year project will invest 5 million US dollars to strengthen the management effectiveness and financing of Mediterranean MPAs addressing global changes and providing long-term socio-ecological benefits in the Mediterranean in a post COVID recovery context. Complementary existing and future Mediterranean projects and initiatives come in as co-funding to support the work to be done in the framework of the project.

The project aims to secure the long-term effective management of existing and new MPAs in non-EU countries in the Mediterranean Sea, while providing a global and integrated support to the management of MPAs in the entire basin. This integrated support will strengthen the management effectiveness of Mediterranean MPAs by securing access to sustainable financing solutions for MPA core management costs while providing technical, strategic, organisational and institutional support.

“Build back a blue and stronger Mediterranean” is built around 4 main components:

  1. Provide long-term financing to 20 nationally designated MPAs and new MPAs under designation process core management costs in Albania, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and Montenegro, together with the other funds The MedFund will raise over this period.
  2. Contribute to build the capacity of MPA managers and practitioners as well as to share knowledge within the MPA community.
  3. Strengthen regional / national governance, cooperation and strategies to promote MPAs as solutions to address global changes and provide socio-ecological benefits; create a supportive environment for implementing policy commitments towards MPAs in the Mediterranean, in particular the Barcelona Convention; establish a mechanism to promote, support and monitor the implementation of the Post-2020 Mediterranean MPA Roadmap and support the 4th edition of the MPA Forum; promote the international, regional and national cooperation between MPA managers and other Conservation Trust Funds.
  4. Ensure adaptive management as well as project monitoring and evaluation.

MedPAN and The MedFund are the Executing agencies of this project with The MedFund leading component 1 and 4 and MedPAN leading component 2 and 3. Conservation International, a leading global environmental NGO, acts as the implementing agency.

Work on the full project outline will soon start (a tender to hire a consultant to work on this was recently issued by The MedFund with a submission deadline of 15 March) with a project final approval planned for mid 2022.

MedPAN and The MedFund will, in the coming months, conduct a wide consultation with the Mediterranean countries involved and all partners working in the Mediterranean to ensure that the work is done in synergy for the benefit of MPAs.

The MedFund is a private non-profit organisation based in Monaco, that provides sustainable funding for marine biodiversity conservation. This Conservation Trust Fund raises and invests financial resources, and uses the interest yield to award grants to NGOs and to national MPA management authorities in various Mediterranean countries. The MedFund pursues a responsible investment policy that responds to the challenges of a new, more sustainable economy around the Mediterranean basin. The MedFund’s mission is translated into two operational objectives that guide the Fund’s actions: 1) Solicit public and private actors to (i) mobilise new funding for Mediterranean MPAs, independent from the current ones, and (ii) raise awareness on the role of MPAs; and 2) Contribute to the long-term financing of activities that are poorly funded but essential to the effective management of MPAs, particularly their core management costs. For more information, take a look at The MedFund’s new presentation leaflet and presentation video.

MedPAN is the network of Marine Protected Areas managers in the Mediterranean. It is a non-profit organisation, established as an association under French law and operating through a Mediterranean governance. MedPAN currently gathers 131 organisations from 21 Mediterranean countries that manage over 110 MPAs. The mission of MedPAN is to actively contribute to the achievement of a representative, connected, integrated and effectively managed system of Mediterranean MPAs, through a strong and active networking of MPA managers and other actors that increases knowledge and capacities of MPAs while improving awareness, MPA policy and funding.