Story | 17 Jun, 2021

Exploring the potential for marine OECMs in the Mediterranean

IUCN along with the World Commission for Protected Areas (WCPA), the IUCN Commission on Ecosystems Management - Fisheries Expert Group and other international organisations are promoting conservation beyond protected areas by providing guidance on identifying, recognising, supporting and reporting ‘Other effective area-based conservation measures’ (OECMs).

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At regional level, the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation coordinated the organization of a virtual workshop on 14 June 2021 on how to explore the potential for marine OECMs in the Mediterranean sea. This encounter was jointly organized with IUCN WCPA, IUCN Commission on Ecosystems Management - Fisheries Expert Group, the Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA - UNEP/MAP) and ACCOBAMS, in collaboration with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and FAO. It gathered almost 60 participants from marine protected areas agencies, representatives of ministries in charge of environment, fisheries and other sectors, as well as staff of the relevant international organizations and marine experts. 

The concept of OECM, first referenced in Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, offers an opportunity to recognize and support existing area-based conservation efforts that contribute to biodiversity conservation outcomes. 

In the Mediterranean, there is a need to explore the potential for marine OECMs and their practical implications, as well as to catalyze and enable their identification and assess how they could contribute to the conservation and protection targets. This workshop is part a of a series of workshops that will address this need. It will cover the following topics:
-    OECM concept and its consideration within Mediterranean strategies.
-    Illustrative examples of potential OECMs in the Mediterranean for catalyzing a broader reflection on OECMs
-    In-depth guidance on how the CBD Criteria apply in each sector.
-    National experiences and discussion on the adopted new regional strategies and regional roadmap to advance OECMs in the Mediterranean.

Next workshop is planned to be held in September. 
For further information, please contact Mar Otero.