The Program for the Spain-External Cross-Border Co-operation Programme (POCTEFEX in French) is a European initiative, willing to promote the partnerships between Spain and Morocco, thanks to the financial support of the European Fund for Regional Development (FEDER in French). The ALBORAN project or “Common management of a natural cross-border space”, aims for promoting an harmonious development of the environment, contributing to a better structuring of the cooperation in the Alboran Sea, and promoting a sustainable management of its environment.
The specific objectives of this project are:
• Enhancing the natural heritage and the biodiversity of the cross-border regions, as a basis to improve the local image and develop new economical activities.
• Reinforcing the capacities of local and/or regional institutions, and contributing to build common governance frameworks.
The project counts five main lines:
1- Design and implementation of a cross-border management model, and monitoring of the Alboran Sea natural resources.
2- Unification of the criteria and directives for a common Spanish-Moroccan management of the Alboran Sea nature.
3- Design and fulfillment of the cross-border management measures for biodiversity
4- Management and coordination
5- Advertising and information
The partners to this project are the followings: The Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Environment of Andalusia (leader of the project because main beneficiary), the university of Almeria/ the Andalusia Center for Evaluation and Monitoring of Global Change, and the UICN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation.
Activities coordinated by UICN-Med
The UICN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation has been coordinating the efforts made to promote the environmental cooperation process in the Alboran Sea. The Center has directed several international meetings with international organisms, organizations, but also with local organizations and specialists from the three countries of the Alboran Sea region: Algeria, Morocco and Spain.
Further to the Second International Meeting of the Initiative for Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Alboran Sea (Oujda, 2009), different lines has been decided to be the basis to the activities program of this project.
The activities coordinated by UICN-Med:
1) Training sessions for the shared management of information about the Alboran Sea, through a Geoportal. The objective is to integrate thanks to internet the environmental geographic information generated by the different institutions, organizations and agencies with regard to the uses and marine communities of this region. The sessions will focus on the geoportal creation, the catalogue, the validation and standardization of the information, and eventually on the collaboration work process: The latter will be liven up by debates, aimed to share information and develop action plans for the conservation and sustainable development in this zone.
2) The development of several multidisciplinary working groups, which will contribute to the design of the priorities for this region development and conservation. The objectives of these groups are the followings: (I) Deal in depth with the problems analysis and propose solutions at a regional level, (II) Identify and define the priority actions for a better management of the Alboran area, (III) Elaborate an action plan for the Alboran area, and (IV) Discuss about the implementation means, and reinforce the information exchange process between the stakeholders of the Alboran Sea. These groups have been created according to three themes, behind the Oujda Meeting of 2009:
• Biodiversity, development and conservation
• The exploitation of the sand in the framework of an integrated management of the coastal zone
• Risks reduction for the cetaceans and other protected pelagic species
3) Meeting of artisanal fishing entities – The oceanographic and biogeography singularities of the Alboran Sea have favored a large biodiversity, associated with a rich and important fishing activity. The artisanal fishing is a high importance sector for the coastal communities of the region, at a social but also economic level. This action proposes a meeting between several Andalusia fishing organisms and some others from the Mediterranean part of Morocco: Its goal is to promote the exchange of experiences between fishermen from different coastal localities of the two countries, but also managers, professionals and technicians. This meeting will enable them to present their self-management models, find their common points and see what the possibilities to improve the management of resources are. The activity will be lead in collaboration with the CAMP Levante project of Almeria, and the FAO-COPEMED for the artisanal fisheries.
4) Marine Cooperation Campaign to know the biodiversity of the South side – Study at the Cap des Trois Fourches. The MedRAS project, coordinated by IUCN and launched in 2008, has permitted the identification of a network of areas for the Alboran Sea biodiversity conservation, including the Cap des Trois Fourches. In addition, this area has been determined by the Moroccan government as a Site of specific Biological and Ecological Interest (SIBE in French). It constitutes a coastal and flooded landscape of great natural and esthetical value, and establishes an important line between oceanographic and geomorphologic regions characteristics. Eventually, this area possesses a unique flora and fauna, gathering at the same time tropical, Atlantic and Mediterranean characteristics. The knowledge and the experience gained from this work will serve as references for future decisions concerning conservation measures, and will serve as well to promote the well management of this region natural resources.
5) Creation of a cooperation proposal for the creation of the “Marine Environment Management Center” for the South Side of Morocco. A series of activities will be lead to make a feasibility study. The latter will take into account the thematic that the future Center will address: conservation and scientific research on endangered species, management of natural resources, and environmental education to help alerting the public about marine biodiversity value, conservation issues but also its social-economic, historical and cultural values. The document must also consider the different possibilities and management models of the Center.
Duration of the project:
2 years : 2012 - 2013
The Activities 1 and 2 that IUCN-Med develops has the financial support of the Biodiversity Foundation from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain.