According to a recent survey conducted by the MedPAN Association over 80 Mediterranean marine protected areas (MPA) more than half of them did not yet have a management plan for the sites and 75% of the Natura 2000 sites (in EU countries) still did not have a management body. In order to reinforce the effectiveness of Mediterranean marine protected areas and to achieve a more unified approach, the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and WWF-Italy have worked in close collaboration with MPA managers to create an inclusive yet synthetic tool to assess MPA management.
The result is the “Guide for quick evaluation of management in Mediterranean MPAs”, which consists of 18 indicators assessing all dimensions of MPA management, from management approaches to the final outcomes in terms of biodiversity conservation, stakeholder participation, governance and socio-economic impacts. This evaluation tool is meant to encourage adaptive management by pointing out the areas in which actions are most needed and allowing year-to-year comparisons. Some managers have already started to use it in their own MPA.
Developed under the framework of the Programme Med- European Regional Development funded project, MedPAN North, together with the financial assistance of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and the MAVA Foundation, the new IUCN and WWF publication in three languages (English, French and Italian) offers a good rapid evaluation to assess and highlight the challenges of marine protected areas.