The MedPAN network met around 3 important meetings at the beginning of this summer. By videoconference of course, COVID-19 obliges, the members of the 3 Working Groups that MedPAN intends to develop in the coming years, have discussed to define a framework and modalities of exchanges.

Focusing on sustainable small scale fisheries, conservation of mobile species, and sustainable financing of MPAs, these Working Groups are at the heart of MedPAN’s new strategy to provide the network with in-depth and permanent expertise on these key issues.

The objective of the Working Groups is twofold:

  • On the one hand, it aims to constitute a pool of experts and MPAs with experience on the subject, which other MPAs in the network will be able to call upon for technical support. Each group will be coordinated by one or more MPAs and the MedPAN secretariat, which will be responsible for moderating, guiding and facilitating exchanges. In the immediate future, this function of the groups will be tested through the support of pilot projects implemented by MPAs on these themes in the framework of the Interreg MPA NETWORKS project that MedPAN is coordinating. For this, within the group, experts will be identified who can provide support to these MPAs according to their problems. These experts will advise the pilot MPAs on the adaptation of methodologies and approaches they wish to implement and will contribute, once the actions have been carried out, to the formulation of recommendations to facilitate the transfer of these approaches to other potentially interested MPAs.
  • On the other hand, the Working Groups will provide technical support to the actions implemented by MedPAN that cover wide range of activities, from capacity building, knowledge, policy support to communication actions. Concretely, the groups will be consulted, for example, to refine the approaches on training that the network will propose, to help identify the issues related to these themes that should be highlighted in the post-2020 roadmap of Mediterranean MPAs (Forum and Roadmap processes will start soon), or to contribute to the formulation of targeted recommendations at different levels of decision making (from local to international).

The philosophy of this exchange-based approach consists as much in giving as in receiving. Beyond the contributions of each member of the Working Group, the ambition is that everyone will benefit from the experience of the others.

  • The Small Scale Fisheries Working Group is coordinated by the MPA of Torre Guaceto in Italy and the Mediterranean Conservation Society from Turkey.
  • The mobile species Working Group is coordinated by the MPA of Portofino in Italie and the National Park of Port-Cros in France.
  • The sustainable financing Working Group is coordinated by Brijuni National Park in Croatia and the Marilles foundation from Spain.

The contributions of these 3 Working Groups are part of 3 projects in which MedPAN participates for the period 2020-2022: the MPA NETWORKS project, the MAVA project and the COGITO project.