Blue Economy and Marine Conservation: Safeguarding Mediterranean MPAs to achieve Good Environmental Status
Thinking beyond MPA borders
The current “blue growth” trend in the Mediterranean Sea is accelerating at an unsustainable pace. There is an urgent need for integrated ocean management throughout the whole basin. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) safeguard marine ecosystems, processes, habitats and species. They also contribute to the restoration and replenishment of resources for social, economic, and cultural enrichment. Many economic sectors have traditionally functioned within or near protected areas.
The current EU Blue Growth strategy means that MPAs face increased requests for economic development within their limits, with greater pressure and impact on the marine environment. Mediterranean Maritime Spatial Planning Authorities will have to take MPAs into account, as foreseen by the commitments stemming from the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Habitats Directive, if they want to progress towards a Good Ecological Status for the Mediterranean Sea.
There is a wealth of published results and recommendations regarding MPAs and their interaction with economic sectors, yet an integrated approach for the Mediterranean is lacking. The PHAROS4MPAs project seeks to capitalise on existing results and ultimately deliver an integrated framework for recommendations on collaboration between Mediterranean MPAs and major maritime sectors.
M€ project budget