A new highway connecting the Mediterranean

31 October 2012 | News story

The principles of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) are being translated into concrete actions in ten different locations supported by a new Mediterranean information highway portal.

The EU Pegaso project’s 10 pilot sites are moving fast to provide key data at different geographic scales and shape a new regional scenario towards the implementation of the novel ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean. With these fresh data at hand, research experts, government officials and university representatives from all over the Mediterranean and the Black Seas met in Oostende, Belgium from 22 to 25 October to obtain their “driving license” to the most powerful highway for Mediterranean coastal zone management: the Pegaso SDI.

The Pegaso SDI: A highway to better management of the Coast of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

A Spatial Data Infrastructure or SDI is a group of technologies, policies, standards, services and human resources that –taken together – allow for the compilation, manipulation, access, distribution and use of geographical data. One could say that an SDI is an instrument for the distribution and sharing of spatial data, by different kinds of users (public and private sector, academic, governmental or citizens organisations). Conceptually, we can compare what an SDI does for the distribution and sharing of data, with the function that the roads and highways fulfil for our transport purposes.

The Pegaso SDI is designed to support the Pegaso shared Governance Platform for the delivery of integrated Coastal Zone Management, and the integrated assessments for the coastal zones of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The construction of the SDI involves a collaborative process, to define common objectives, targets and actions. It is therefore crucial to complete a common Capacity building and training package to achieve this common view within the network of partner institutions. This Capacity Building within Pegaso SDI consists of an e-learning platform, a 'hands-on' training session currently underway organised by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ, Marine & Coastal Research & Management in Flanders), the University Pablo de Olavide (UPO) and the University Autonoma of Barcelona (UAB), and a guideline on how to harmonise and share spatial data. Forthcoming workshops for integrated training on tools and Scenarios for pilot cases will follow in November in France organised by Tour du Valat, and in Istanbul (Turkey) in December 2013.

In the future we see the Pegaso Platform as the main hub for coastal management initiatives”, says Françoise Breton, the Pegaso project coordinator. "We are already in the process of creating links with platforms to be developed by some other UNEP/MAP components. In this context, we would like to invite all projects and clusters that can enrich the Pegaso Platform and provide examples of coastal management in line with ICZM principles, to join us".

Pegaso (« People for ecosystem based governance in assessing sustainable development of ocean and coast ») is a collaborative project between 25 Mediterranean and Black Sea institutions and organisations that seek to assist Mediterranean countries to put into practice the Protocol for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in the Mediterranean and its applicability in the Black Sea. The ICZM Protocol is a novel agreement that formalizes an integrated coastal management between the riparian countries based on the ecosystem approach, ratified in 2008 by most countries in the basin.

In the Mediterranean Sea, the 7 sites selected for the Pegaso project are the Al Hoceima coast, Bouches du Rhöne, North Adriatic Sea, Aegean Islands, Dalyan-Köycegiz Special Protected Area, North Lebanon Coastal Zone and the Nile Delta. In the Black Sea, the Danube Delta, Sevastopol Bay, and the Guria Coastal Region.

The Pegaso project is funded by the European Union within FP7- ENV.2009.2.2.1.4 Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

More info: francoise.breton@uab.cat


Mediterranean landscape