The eight partners of the Mediterranean Experience of Ecotourism (MEET) project gathered at the premises of the Directorate-General for Natural Environment and Biodiversity from the regional Government of Catalonia in Barcelona for two days, 10-11 April 2014, to assess the state of implementation of the activities and decide the next steps to move the project forward.
During the Barcelona meeting, the partnership approved the selection of 17 protected areas. The selection of the nature reserves and a brief description of the sites was completed by Jordan, Lebanon, Greece, Italy, Spain, France and Tunisia. Egypt, Malta and Tunisia are currently in the process of selecting their protected areas. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the leader coordinator of the pilot actions, presented a preliminary project proposal and action plan for one of its reserves as an example to be followed by the other selected sites.
The partners also approved the official launching of the project’s website that offers a smooth overview of the project’s objectives and expected results as well as a description of the main partners. The website will be updated with information about the main steps and activities that will be implemented until the end of the project in October 2015. In the coming weeks the first MEET newsletter will be ready to share information about the main actions developed during this project’s first year.
The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, as a project partner, informed participants about the next training workshop on products development for protected areas that will be organised in the Lazio region (Italy) by mid May in coordination with the IUCN Regional Office for West Asia. IUCN-Med explained that the workshop will be orientated to consultants and agencies or institutions that will have to deal with the management of ecotourism packages in protected areas.
Furthermore, the programme of the first meeting of the Advisory Panel on Ecotourism (APE) within the MEET project was approved by the partners. The meeting will take place in Montpellier (France) on 12 June and will be organised by the National Parks of France.
A field trip to the three Spanish protected areas selected was arranged by the Catalan partner.
The MEET strategic project involves 10 countries of the Mediterranean: Italy, France, Spain, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Malta, Cyprus, Greece and Tunisia. The “MEET” project is funded by the European Neighborhood Policy Instrument (ENPI CBC MED), and aimed at developing a new approach for ecotourism planning in Protected Areas of the Mediterranean. The MEET Network was established in September 2013 to improve the cooperation and support protected areas in employing and promoting ecotourism as a tool for conservation and sustainable development.
For further information Carla Danelutti