FSOB1b - From individual MPAs to coherent networks: let’s all mobilise from field to science

30 November - 9:00 /10:30 in room Maroc 2

Organiser: RAC/SPA

Moderators: Chedly RAIS, Okianos & Atef LIMAM, RAC/SPA

Session overview:

An MPA network can be defined as a collection of individual MPAs or reserves operating cooperatively and synergistically, at various spatial scales, and with a range of protection levels that are designed to meet objectives that a single reserve cannot achieve.
Not just any collection of MPAs constitutes an MPA network. A network can include several MPAs of different sizes, located in critical habitats, containing components of a particular habitat type or portions of different kinds of important habitats, and interconnected by the movement of animals and plant propagules. They must be appropriately placed, sized and spaced to function collectively as an ecological coherent network and successfully achieve biodiversity goals.
The main objective of the focus session is to put forward and stress the importance of the design and establishment of an MPA coherent network as a tool to protect biodiversity and ecosystem function in the Mediterranean.  Thus, the moderators will favour exchanges as much as possible and allow time to discuss (i) the representativity of the Mediterranean network of MPAs, (ii) the existing scientific tools for promoting MPA connectivity in the Mediterranean, and (iii) the main challenges and suggested actions for the development of a coherent network of MPAs in the Mediterranean.

Case study:

Ecological characterization of sites of interest for conservation in Lebanon
Speakers: Zeina HASSAN, Ministry of Environment of Lebanon (Lebanon), Ghazi BITAR, Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences (Lebanon)
As part of its strategy for MPAs of Lebanon, the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with RAC / SPA and IUCN, has implemented two projects with two main objectives:  creation of a national network of MPAs and support to their management. For this, a multidisciplinary team has made a priority of MoE: the identification of 9 coastal and marine sites.
Analyses and the various indices and ratings employees distribute the sites studied in three categories of zones: a highly protected core zone, a medium protective buffer zone and a low protection to multi-use zone. A natural site was also proposed.

Case study:

Motivations, principles and development of a pan-European approach to describe MPA network coherence in Europe’s seas
Speakers: Giulia MO and Sabrina AGNESI,  ISPRA & ETC/ICM consortium: The Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research & the European Topic Center for Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters Consortium)
The European Topic Centre for Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters (ETC/ICM) has developed a methodological framework  to measure European MPA network coherence and to help inform on several EU level policy goals. The framework follows  assessment principles applied internationally and regionally. MPAs, reported by EU Member States to the Common Database for Designated Areas (national sites), the Natura 2000 database (Habitats and Birds directives) and the Regional Sea Conventions, are compared against several targets and regionally comparable features. The proposed methodology is based on the analysis of pan-European available spatial data so as to identify common answers across Europe’s seas.

Case study:

Strengthen the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) in the Marine Protected Areas and marine biodiversity fields in the Mediterranean.
Speakers: Didier SAUZADE and Antoine Lafitte, Plan Bleu - UNEP/MAP (France)   
Back to back with the 2nd Mediterranean Forum on MPAs, Plan Bleu organises a workshop dedicated to the «Implementation of the ecosystem approach in the Mediterranean and strengthening the  science-policy interface.» The association of the two events will enable scientists, MPA managers and policy makers to propose concrete solutions to implement the roadmaps relating to MPAs in the Mediterranean. This workshop will also address the scientific research needs for the implementation of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme for marine biodiversity, at regional and national levels..

Case study:

How good is your MPA at curbing threats? Assessing the adequacy of MPAs at countering anthropogenic pressures using the regulation-based classification system
Speaker: Joachim CLAUDET, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) (France)
Marine protected areas numbers grew exponentially in the last decade to meet international targets. Most of them are partially protected areas (PPAs), yet, their ecological effectiveness remains unclear due to the high variability of allowed uses inside them. Here, after classifying PPAs following the recently developed regulation-based classification system, and using a meta-analysis, we show that highly and moderately regulated PPAs provide higher ecological benefits, while weakly regulated PPAs do not exhibit any differences relative to unprotected areas. Importantly, the effectiveness of moderately regulated PPAs is enhanced by the presence of an adjacent fully protected area (no-take zone).