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Adapting Mediterranean MPAs to the challenges of Climate Change

Marine Protected Areas need to keep up with their objectives

21/06/2019 -

The Mediterranean is an enclosed sea highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change inn their waters. Water temperatures have risen close to 2ºC on the last decades, and warming is projected to continue to increase drastically. Warming takes place in surface and deeper waters and species composition is already changing due to invasive species, distribution shifts and other human driven impacts. In this context, Marine Protected Areas have a key role as areas where conservation actions could buffer the impacts of climate change but, at the same time, are not free from these impacts.

The MPA-Adapt Project has addressed the challenge of adapting Marine Protected Areas to Climate Change thanks to a network of MPA managers, researchers and conservation and policy actors that have worked together in an Interreg-MED project. This initiative tackled the problem of climate change affecting marine systems in three main ways: monitoring the effects of climate change with a set of fine-tuned protocols, including citizen science; carrying out climate change vulnerability assessments; and improving the capacity and common knowledge with a training and data sharing program.

To capitalize the main results of the work undertaken during the project, a  Capitalization Conference was organized last week in Barcelona to enable the exchange of knowledge, experiences, learning and good practices from the project consortia and the broader policy , social and scientific community. Future Oceans Lab attended the conference and we are now working together to move beyond the state of the art and develop further adaptation action in the Mediterranean region.

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CATEGORIES: Conferences, Elena Ojea, Projects, Results, Workshop