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Complementary initiatives

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Summary of major complementary initiatives in the region (as presented at the CG meeting) and how they will be coordinated with the project

MedRAS Project of the IUCN Centre of Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med)

The Med-RAS project is a joint initiative between the Marine and Species Programmes of the IUCN-Med. The aim of Med-RAS is to identify priority habitats and species to be managed and protected in the Mediterranean Sea. This is achieved by defining a science-based standardized methodology to identify and map important ecological and biodiversity areas for establishing a coherent and representative network of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas. One of the pilot sites of the MedRAS project is the territorial waters of Libya.

Within the framework of the MedPAN South Project and the MedMPAnet Project , the Pilot Project in Libya aims to contribute to the establishment of the first MPAs in this country. In early 2009, a coordination meeting was organized in Tripoli with the Environmental General Authority (EGA) of Libya, the Marine Biology Research Centre (MBRC) of Tajura, UNEP-MAP RAC/SPA, IUCN-Med and UNDP-Libya to develop a joint 4-year work plan for the identification of a system of MPAs along the Libyan coast. The MedPAN South project will refer to the methodology developed by IUCN. The MedMPAnet Project contribution will be ensured by RAC/SPA and coordinated coherently with the MedPAN South component.

Conservatoire du Littoral

The Conservatoire has a Small Islands of the Mediterranean programme which is partially funded by the FFEM project. The main objective is to facilitate the exchange of expertise among experts and scientists in the region (South-South and North-South) on issues related to the management of these unique ecosystems, run field surveys and provide technical training to scientists. When the projects are related to MPAs, the neighbouring MPAs involved in the MedPAN South Project and MedMPAnet Project are informed about and potentially involved in the Conservatoire initiatives. Furthermore, training courses will be held together in full coordination with RAC/SPA. A Memorandum of Agreement will be signed between RAC/SPA and Conservatoire du Littoral on the joint activities to be developed andits calendar uodated every year year.

UNEP-MAP Blue Plan

The newly established work program on Marine Areas of Blue Plan aims at developing an economic approach to assess the value of marine ecosystem services in the Mediterranean. The program entails a regional study (2009) aimed at providing an indicator of the Mediterranean’s value by means of a macro-economic approach (developed by UN), andiu local studies (2010-2011) on ex-ante and ex-post assessment of different Med MPAs integrated impacts of ecological, socio-economic activities on the site, by means of a micro-economic approach. Blue Plan is looking for pilot sites to apply the methodology and exploring the possibility to collaborate with the MPAs involved in the MedPAN South Project and MedMPAnet Project.

MedPAN Association 

MedPAN is the Network of Managers of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean. The MedPAN Network was originally created in 1990 and since then has been implementing many activities in the form of projects, and in particular the INTERREG IIIC MedPAN project coordinated by WWF between 2005 and 2008. The project included the exchange of experience on MPA management issues through the organisation of thematic workshops, the development of methodological tools on MPA management, the funding of field studies and the online publishing of the 1st Mediterranean MPA Directory. More information on the network can be found on www.medpan.org.

In late 2008, the MedPAN network was officially institutionalized as a standalone Association under the French law. The purpose of the MedPAN Association is to promote the creation, perpetuation and operation of a Mediterranean ecological network of marine protected areas. It thus contributes to achieving the specific objectives fixed by the CBD, to establish and maintain comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative national and regional systems of marine protected areas and those of the Barcelona Convention, and in particular to its protocol relating to Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (Barcelona, 1995).

The members of Association are MPA management entities. Legal entities that do not manage a MPA but are interested in the management or the creation of these and wish to contribute to the establishment and strengthening of a network may become partners of the association. The association is governed by a General Assembly, a Board of Directors and an Executive Committee, as well as a Scientific Committee and an Advisory Committee.

The MedPAN South project is one of several initiatives that are supporting the MedPAN Association. In the framework of the project, some activities such as the experts’ database, web-site, and publications will be co-implemented. A Communication Officer will be recruited by the end of 2009 and he/she will serve all the communication aspects of both MedPAN Association and MedPAN South Project. Future activities, such as parallel projects targeting EU MPAs, will be developed in coordination as well.


The Programme of work on marine and coastal protected areas in the Mediterranean region

Within the framework of the implementation of the SAP-BIO, RAC/SPA developed joint activities with its partners to promote the idea of a common approach to push for a regional network of representative and well-managed SPAs.

With the same objective, the Secretary organised a meeting with its partners, in Tunis, on 1-2 April 2008, for drafting a common Programme of Work on Marine and Coastal Protected Areas in the Mediterranean region. Based on the meeting discussions and the partners’ inputs, this programme has been finalized and submitted for adoption to the Ninth meeting of FPs for SPAs, as a platform of collaboration with the aim of helping countries to reach the 2012 target for a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

The common programme of work was elaborated by RAC/SPA in consultation with the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean CooperationWWF-MedPoMedPAN and ACCOBAMS. It takes into account the information on MPAs available in the databases and documentation of these organisations. It has been reviewed, and where necessary amended, by the 9th Meeting of the NFP for SPA (Malta, 3-6 June 2009) and then adopted by the Contracting Parties of Barcelona Convention. The Programme of work is made of the following four elements:

  • Element 1: To Assess the representativity and effectiveness of the existing Mediterranean network of marine and coastal Protected Areas
  • Element 2: To make the Mediterranean Network of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas more comprehensive and more representative of the ecological features of the Region.
  • Element 3: To improve the management of the Mediterranean marine and coastal protected areas.
  • Element 4: To strengthen the protected area governance systems and further adapt them to national and regional contexts.

The partner organisations that participated in its elaboration will provide the Mediterranean countries, upon their request, with the technical and, where possible, financial assistance to undertake the activities of the programme of work. 
The MedMPAnet Project is one of the several partners’ initiatives which will support and improve the implementation of the common approach, in particular regarding the representatively and the effectiveness of a coherent MPAs network.

The Project “Identification of possible SPAMIs in the Mediterranean Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABJN)”

A Joint Management Action of the European Community with the United Nations Environmental Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan aiming to promote the establishment of a representative ecological network of protected areas in the Mediterranean, under the implementation of the action entitled: “Identification of possible SPAMI in the Mediterranean Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABJN)” is being implemented by RAC/SPA with the financial support of the EC. 

The action envisages a process to be developed in two phases, with the support of an international Steering Committee. The first phase of the initiative includes a feasibility assessment to identify areas beyond national jurisdiction in the Mediterranean Sea that qualify as SPAMIs, on the basis of sound science. In this phase, which started in 2008, the effort would help the Contracting Parties through the following key elements: i) a general overview and analysis of the existing information on the presence of important elements of marine biodiversity on the Mediterranean High seas - Open seas areas, including deep seas -, ii) the definition of operational criteria for the site selection process, harmonized with SPAMI selection criteria, and the scientific criteria for identifying significant areas to be declared as MPAs beyond national jurisdiction (criteria adopted by the CBD - COP9), iii) the preparation of a shortlist of potential sites on the High seas which could be protected as SPAMIs and iv) the drafting of a roadmap for the elaboration of further proposals to be presented to the Contracting Parties for adoption.

The first phase finished in 2009 will lead to a second one, in which the list of SPAMIs in ABNJ that qualify as prospective SPAMIs will be proposed to be listed, based on ecological, economic, social and political criteria, so as to better integrate an ecosystem approach in the process. This second phase will be fully coordinated with FAO CGPM activities regarding the fisheries restricted areas in the high seas. Indeed, this action was originally designed as a common action fAO-GFCM-RAC/SPA on high seas but RAC/SPA part was suppressed of the project arising budgetary constrauints within GEF Project.


Within the ICZM subcomponent of the LME Project, to be implemented by PAP/RAC, two ICZM Plans are envisaged. The first in Albania/Montenegro Bojana/Skadar lake and the second in the Reghaia in Algeria. Both plans include among others the identification of respective MPAs and their including in the MED MPA Network.
Within the framework of the MedMPAnet Project, RAC/SPA will jointly coordinate with PAP/RAC in the scientific and professional support and involvement in the MPA issues of the two ICZM Plans.

The ACCOBAMS programme of work on Marine Protected Areas 

This programme aims at launching a coherent and coordinated process for identifying sites of special interest for cetaceans with the view of granting them protection status that will give them long-term protection. The ultimate goal of the programme of work being the setting of a network of MPAs that help the Parties benefit from the potential MPAs offer regarding conservation and in particular help achieve and maintain a favourable conservation status for cetaceans in the ACCOBAMS area. To this end the programme of work invludes activities to be undertaken at national level (inventory of sites of importance for cetaceans and establishment of protected areas) and activities to be implemented at regional level (Training of managers, elaboration of guidelines).

UNDP Activities in Croatia and Turkey

Within the framework of the MedMPAnet project, RAC/SPA, through its SPA/BD Focal points, will undertake joint activities with UNDP representatives to improve the establishment of coherent MPA network in Croatia and Turkey.








Last Updated on Friday, 27 November 2015 13:00

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