The MPA EngageMED project, funded under the Interred Med Programme, is organising its first capitalisation conference tomorrow. The meeting (entirely on-line) will represent an occasion to showcasing the MPA Engage collective response to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas. The involvement of local communities, socio-economic operators and managers of Marine Protected Areas is a fundamental phase of the project, as it allows us to create a system for managing these changes.
The Marine Protected Areas of the Mediterranean are certainly the first outposts where to monitor the effects of climate change on coastal marine ecosystems and where to test innovative and courageous solutions to tackle this challenge. This concept is now increasingly clear, especially in the Mediterranean area, which is warming up at a higher rate than the rest of the oceans.
Attracting more than 150 registered participants, the conference will bring forward the recent policy and scientific advances with regards to climate change and its impacts in the Mediterranean region and will share local experiences on how to mitigate and adapt to this challenge. The initiative will provide a great opportunity to key stakeholder groups active on the science-policy-society interface for connecting and sharing experiences: joining forces among partners and stakeholders is very desirable for tackling climate change in Mediterranean MPAs and for the future of the Mediterranean Region.
The first port of call for the project capitalisation phase are the MPA Engage capitalisation boards, composed by three main associations: SCIENCE4CHANGE, which is an advisory cluster of EU and non-EU scientists working on the Mediterranean area; MED4CHANGE which is the assembly of MPAs aiming at tackling the climate change impacts in the Mediterranean Sea and finally MEDCAP BOARD that gathers the main Mediterranean policy-oriented actors and networks. The conference is however open all the interested public. This broad network of scientists, policymakers, MPAs managers and conservationists, in the one hand, will ensure the transferring of the achievements and their exploitation beyond the end of the project, on the other, will contribute to enhance the resilience of Mediterranean coastal areas, support their good environmental status and the sustainable use of marine resources.
MPA Engage project broad scope is to promote a dialogue at European and Mediterranean level on the key role of Marine Protected Areas (AMP) in the fight against climate change. Started in November 2019 and led by the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC, Spain), the project is monitoring the effects of climate change in 8 Mediterranean MPAs located in 6 Mediterranean countries, also through citizen science activities and participatory approaches involving local communities and recreational divers. Other project actions concern the assessments of vulnerabilities to climate change, with the final objective of developing adaptation plans for MPAs. The future perspective will be to create a multitude of MPAs with improved monitoring skills and management capacities in the Mediterranean and to put this area at the forefront of marine conservation in the face of Climate Change.
Read here the conference agenda.