Marine Ecosystem Dynamics and Indicators for North Africa

Mediterranean coastal ecosystems are exposed to a variety of pressures, amongst which urban growth, intensification of maritime activities and unsustainable fishery. The impact of such pressures has caused the degradation of natural and semi-natural areas, and loss of terrestrial and marine biodiversity. Currently, coastal North African countries lack long-term monitoring programs. MEDINA will contribute to create the framework for issuing such programs in a mutual exchange with Europe: the EU partners will follow the regulatory framework imposed by EC, Marine Strategy Framework Directive in particular, transferring their capacity to North African Countries.

The IUCN Mediterranean Marine Programme is already involved in a number of pragmatic initiatives promoting an Integrated Coastal Zone Management to preserve and restore the biological integrity of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as to foster the sustainable development of the region.


MEDINA is designed to enhance Northern African countries capacity to implement environmental policies, conventions and protocols aimed at maintaining/improving the quality of their marine and coastal ecosystems. MEDINA’s overall objectives are:

  1. To contribute to the assessment and implementation of permanent monitoring of coastal ecosystem in North African Countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt), to enhance the monitoring capacity in the region and to identify the major risks in relation to climate change allowing the elaboration of adaptation strategies for their mitigation.
  2. To ensure the exploitation of the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) Common Infrastructure (GCI) capabilities at the maximum extent possible in providing the appropriate infrastructure for fusion of satellite Earth Observations and conventional environmental monitoring data.


Activities conducted within the framework of MEDINA project are shared among the following Work Packages (apart from management and dissemination WP):

  • State of the art of marine coastal ecosystem monitoring in North African countries (led by IUCN)
  • MEDINA e-infrastructure System of Systems and its pilot implementation
  • Development and test of tools for data analysis, data integration and forecasting
  • Participatory regional ecosystem Assessment
  • Capacity Building activities in MEDINA are carried out at infrastructural, institutional and human level

MEDINA will achieve its goals by adopting the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact and Response (DPSIR), adopted by European Environmental Agency, as the causal framework to describe interactions between society and the environment. The main drivers and pressure, such as fishery, tourism, urban and industrial development, waste and water flows, will be identified. Satellites Earth Observation data, collected within on-going or recently completed projects, will be integrated with field data. MEDINA’s approach will be tested on five thematic Pilot Case Studies, to be identified, as representative of the priority issues of each country. 
MEDINA’s e-infrastructure, i.e. the set of relevant data, information and data processing services, will comply with the GEOSS GCI and be accessible via the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Web Portal. End users will be able to select between interfacing directly with the MEDINA’s e-infrastructure or with the comprehensive environment put at disposal by GEOSS and the GEO Web Portal.


The project, led by Ca’ Foscari University (Venice, Italy), gathers a consortium of 13 partners, from Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt.


MEDINA is co-financed by the European Commission (Instrument FP7 Collaborative project) for a total cost of 4,186,532 €.


36 months starting on the 1st of October 2011.

For more details on this project please contact [email protected]

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