The creation of an ecological network of effective MPAs is the fundamental base to protect biodiversity and provide ecosystem services for people inhabiting them. The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation is a partner of the MedPAN association supporting projects originating from the network.

The MedPAN North project

The objective of the MedPAN North project is to improve the management effectiveness of MPAs, including marine Natura 2000 sites, to benefit the marine environment and to contribute to their networking, in the framework of international and in particular European commitments in this field.

MedPAN North is an independent project operating within the MedPAN network framework under the leadership of WWF-France. It brings together 12 key actors from 6 European countries bordering the Mediterranean: Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Malta and Slovenia. With a budget of 2.38M € co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Programme Med. The project started in July 2010 and runs until June 2013.

The project focuses on 5 aspects:

1. Innovative aspects of MPA management
2. Sustainable management of fisheries in MPAs
3. Sustainable management of tourism in MPAs
4. Information, communication and capitalization
5. Project management

This project receives the official support of the Barcelona Convention, through its Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA), which is an associate partner of the project. It is complemented the MedPAN South project, which aims at networking MPAs of Mediterranean third countries over 2008-2012.

The project contributes to several EU policies: The Habitats Directive, Biodiversity Action Plan, Marine Directive, Common Fisheries Policy, Maritime Policy and Tourism as well as their transposition into the legal framework of the countries concerned, and their national policies. Activities of sustainable development in the marine environment, concerning in particular sustainable fisheries and tourism, aim at protecting employment or at creating new jobs in these two sectors.

IUCN-Med contributes to the MedPAN North project sharing the leadership with Junta de Andalucía to bring Innovative aspects of MPA management. More specifically it is working on:

  • Management effectiveness monitoring: To provide the Mediterranean network of marine protected areas with an harmonized methodology for MPA managers willing to assess the effectiveness of their management and to create a group of specialized technicians in the evaluation of MPA management effectiveness.
    This activity is carry out in collaboration with WWF-Miramare Nature Reserve in Italy.
  • MPAs and climate change: To provide MPA managers and the Mediterranean network of marine protected areas with operational guidelines on the way to address the issue of climate change in Mediterranean MPAs and a common strategic orientation at the Mediterranean MPA network level.
  • MPAs and invasive species: To provide MPA managers and the Mediterranean network of marine protected areas with a monitoring programme at Mediterranean level and common strategic orientation at the Mediterranean MPA network level.

For more details on this project please contact: Maria del Mar Otero