The Interreg Med programme has selected the MPA networks project submitted by MedPAN in the framework of its 3rd call for modular projects! This is one of the 13 projects that was selected from the 116 submitted.

The MPA networks project brings together 10 Mediterranean partners, mainly MPA management bodies, from 7 countries: Albania, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and France. The project will be implemented between November 2019 and April 2022. Its budget is €2,664,000.

The MedPAN association is therefore the coordinator of the project which brings together: Portofino, Torre del Cerrano and Torre Guaceto MPAs, Marilles Foundation, INCA, Brijuni National Park, Port-Cros National Park, Zakynthos Marine National Park, Strunjan Landscape Park.

In addition, 20 organisations have agreed to act as associate partners: ACCOBAMS, Balearic government / General Directorate of Natural Areas and Biodiversity, Conservatoire du Littoral, Federparchi, French Biodiversity Agency, Biodiversity Foundation, Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Low Impact Fishers of Europe Platform, MedFund, Mediterranean Conservation Society, Mediterranean Center for Environmental Monitoring, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Republic of Croatia, National Agency for Protected Areas in Albania, Office de l’Environnement Corse, Mediterranean Small Island Initiative, Maghrebian Artisanal Fisheries Platform, Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre, WWF Mediterranean and Miramare MPA.

The aim of the project is to contribute to the effective management of Mediterranean MPAs by proposing sustainable solutions to the challenges that require a supra-MPA approach: effective management, small scale fisheries management, conservation of mobile species and sustainable financing. The expected results are as follows:

  1. The 9 MPA pilot sites allow for better management and reduce threats to marine biodiversity based on the results of previous EU projects.
  2. MPA management capacities in the Mediterranean are strengthened through active networking, knowledge sharing and capacity building on key topics.
  3. The networks of MPA managers are strengthened and connected at different geographical scales (national, supra-national, Mediterranean).
  4. The resources needed for effective MPA management are provided in the post-2020 framework and better integrated by decision-makers at different levels.

The project will support the testing and adaptation of tools and recommendations from previous projects to improve marine conservation at selected pilot sites and facilitate the transfer of lessons learned and good practices to the Mediterranean MPA community. Networks of MPA managers will be developed and strengthened at national, supranational and Mediterranean levels, and a regular capacity building programme will be established. Networking activities will facilitate exchanges between MPA managers and other stakeholders, the capitalisation of good practices and the increase of knowledge. This approach will be amplified by the connection of networks.

Through the combined strengths of the networks and a dynamic bottom-up approach linking field experience and decision-making processes, the voices of MPAs will be coordinated and joint recommendations will support policy development at international, European and national levels.

Main activities of the project

  • Implementation of 9 pilot actions based on existing results of previous EU and other Mediterranean projects on key themes: management effectiveness, artisanal fisheries management, conservation of mobile species and sustainable financing.
  • Establishment of thematic working groups that will bring together Mediterranean experts on each of the identified themes, allowing the processing of existing data and knowledge and the identification of good practices, needs and constraints to formulate relevant recommendations.
  • Launch of an innovative capacity building programme with 3 MPAs acting as training centres, which will build on the results of the pilot actions and the existing results of previous EU and other Mediterranean projects.
  • Creation of a toolbox dedicated to themes of importance to MPAs, which will use existing results, secure access to information over the long term and facilitate replication on a larger scale.
  • Development and strengthening of Mediterranean, supranational and national networks and connections between networks at different levels. These networks will benefit from the sharing of experiences and lessons learned from other networks in terms of operations, funding, governance and communication. Connections between networks across the Mediterranean are also planned.
  • Seeking a leverage effect of the actions implemented and advocacy at different scales to support policy and target development

Other projects to support MPAs were selected

The Interreg Med programme also selected the following projects: MPA-Engage (continuation of the MPA Adapt project, on climate change), Posbemed2 (continuation of the Posbemed project on the management of posidonia banks), DestiMED+ (continuation of the DestiMED project on the development of ecotourism in Protected Areas) and Panacea, the horizontal project aiming at developing the biodiversity protection community. MedPAN is an associate partner in these 4 projects.

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