Engaging Mediterranean key actors in Ecosystem Approach to manage Marine Protected Areas to face Climate change.

Project goals: Maintain biodiversity and natural ecosystems by strengthening the management and networking of protected areas

Nature of the project: testing and capitalization

The general objective of the project is to promote the role of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as key tools to prevent the loss of biodiversity and maintain the integrity of marine – coastal ecosystems in the face of the heavy influence that the global phenomenon of climate change is producing and will produce. . The specific objective is to maintain biodiversity through the strengthening of management and networking, i.e. the creation of a network of contacts between: MPA, local economic operators (professional fishermen and recreational divers), authorities but also scientists and citizens, all together to address climate change. Specifically, the MPAs pursue the objectives of protecting and conserving biodiversity for institutional purposes and, in this case, they adapt their management through a participatory approach supported by monitoring and vulnerability assessments; scientists, capitalizing on proven experiences, bring the best scientific information available for the methods to be tested; authorities as policy makers support MPA managers; local economic operators are essential in the participatory approach to “design” the adaptation plan and finally, citizen science contributes to monitoring activities and promotes the growth of awareness. Although EU policy provides the framework for addressing the effects of climate change (European Climate Change Program), their current implementation is essentially missing.