Blue Economy and Marine Conservation: Safeguarding Mediterranean MPAs to achieve Good Environmental Status

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The PHAROS4MPAs project explores how Mediterranean MPAs are affected by maritime activities and provides a set of practical recommendations for MPA managers, MSP authorities and businesses on how the environmental impacts of 7 sectors can be prevented or minimized.


Discover our online Decision support tool

The main objectives of the tool is to support the operationalization of the recommendations produced within the project, translating the knowledge from the capitalization baselines reports into a fully user-friendly online tool.

The tool is specifically intended for three kind of users: MPA managers and planners, public authorities and economic operators, to help them to easily find the recommendations and other information (e.g. best practices or case studies) that are more useful for their specific needs.



The University of Girona and WWF-Spain presented the project's national report to marine policy makers of the Spanish Ministry in charge of managing MPAs at the national level.

On January 23rd, Andrea Barbanti from CNR was invited to gave a short presentation of PHAROS4MPAs during one of the panels of the UN Decade Regional (Mediterranean) Event in Venice.

PHAROS4MPAs' 7 policy briefs were disseminated to MSP national authorities during the MSP Global Forum in Riga that was held November 19-21.




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.

PHAROS4MPAS in numbers


Project partners

Economic sectors


months duration


M€ project budget