IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and the network of marine protected area managers in the Mediterranean (MedPAN) signed a new memorandum of understanding today, with the aim of enhancing coordination in scientific research related to ecosystems services, sustainable development and reduction of poverty in the region.
The agreement was signed at the IUCN World Parks Congress taking place in Sydney.
The two organisations will work together on the evaluation of the Mediterranean MPA roadmap until 2020, the development of a common database of marine protected areas (MAPAMED) and the organisation of the 2016 Mediterranean MPA forum.
“There is currently an imbalance in protected areas in the Mediterranean, with 83% of them located on the north-western shores of the basin. We need a better balance in protected areas in the region to ensure a healthy coastal and marine environment for the future. We also need to make sure that they are effectively managed. We hope that this cooperation will contribute to a more sustainable use of the marine resources in the Mediterranean”, says Antonio Troya, Director of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation.
The Mediterranean hosts one of the most diverse marine environments on the planet: covering less than 1% of the world’s ocean area, the Mediterranean Sea is home to nearly 8% of the known species. Under the Convention of Biological Diversity, all Mediterranean countries agreed to protect 10 percent of the Mediterranean by 2020. However, less than 5% of the Mediterranean – just over 1% if we exclude the Pelagos sanctuary – has been designated as Marine Protected Areas and are managed areas so far.
"The success of the MedPAN network is based on the actions and the involvement of its members and partners,” says Purificació Canals, Chairwoman of MedPAN. “As a strategic partner, IUCN is one of the organisations that implements the 2013-2017 strategy of the network and this agreement reinforces our already existing close ties. We are looking forward to continue working together to improve the network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean".
The Memorandum of Cooperation will remain in force until 31 December 2016.
For further info: Lourdes Lazaro