Sustainable management of the systems Posidonia-beaches in the Mediterranean region - POSBEMED

Fruto Posidonia

Residues of seagrass Posidonia oceanica beached in tourist zones represent often a problem in the Mediterranean.The leaf debris help to reduce the swell’s energy and can act as a seedbank for dune formation increasing the overall resilience of the coast to natural and climate change effects. However, to ensure that the coasts and beaches remain attractive for tourism, different and sometimes inadequate management practices are used along the Mediterranean to remove tones of this material that gets disposed in many coastal areas, including protected areas.

Main objective
POSBEMED will look at the management, conflicts and opportunities of the Mediterranean coast, particularly coastal protected areas and Natura 2000 habitats where interdependence between seagrass meadows, dunes and beaches occurs in order to provide a Mediterranean strategy and governance model for enhancing the management effectiveness of these protected areas and beyond. By integrating the results of several past projects and examine management practices, stakeholder´s perceptions and expectations, guidelines with innovative management tools will be produced to enhance local administrations and coastal manager´s capacity across the Mediterranean countries. The results will assist in improving protection measures and enhancing management effectiveness on these connected habitats while promoting local blue growth based on the use and sustainable management of the seagrass banquettes as natural capital.

1. To analyse the current management practices of Posidonia beaches/dunes systems and banquettes in Mediterranean countries and provide a socioeconomic valuation synthesis of its ecosystem services.

2. Integrate and adapt tools for management of Posidonia beach/dunes in local sustainable growth and good practice guidelines for a holistic and integrated approach in conservation and management efforts.

3. To propose a model of governance and a common strategy for the management of Posidonia beach/dune systems in Mediterranean Natura 2000 sites and other coastal protected areas.

IUCN-Med’s role
IUCN-Med will coordinate the overall technical work that will start with data collection and evaluation phase with all the project partners to get an outline of the overall situation in Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus. Then, IUCN-Med will develop with all partners a proposal for an action plan on Posidonia beach and dune systems, as a transnational joint strategy, to enhance the management of this natural capital and the connected coastal habitats within the Natura 2000 sites and protected areas. The work will develop the guiding principles for decision making on the seagrass/beach systems and associated coastal dunes that balance the interests of diverse stakeholder groups, incorporate linkages among habitats for effective marine protected areas networks, and provide a tool to facilitate evaluations and good management approaches for coastal resource managers.

The findings and outcomes will be used in further synthesis and recommendations for management and policies regarding Posidonia beaches/dunes systems in protected areas and Natura 2000 sites (in particular marine protected areas) and to further test its application in pilot sites.

This project is led by the Entente Interdépartementale de Démoustication Méditerranée (EID-MED, France) and involves four other partners from the Mediterranean basin: the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, the IMC Foundation- International Marine Centre in Sardinia (Italy), ECO-logica srl in Puglia (Italy) and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR, Greece).

As associate partners: Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus, Regional Government of the Balearic Islands (Department of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries), French Agency for marine protected areas (now French Agency for Biodiversity), Larnaka Municipality in Cyprus, Municipality of Giovinazzo from Italy and the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature.

596,750 Euros (85% co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund)

From September 2016 until February 2018

Interreg - Med Programme


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