From implemented management towards management effectiveness in MPAs: improving national policies and strategies

Organisers: IUCN & MedPAN



Starting from the examples of MPAs at different phases of their development, this multi-stakeholders workshop will take stock of progress and challenges for the operational implementation of effectively managed MPAs considered in their national context..


Session overview


Starting from the examples of MPAs at different phases of their development, this multi-stakeholders workshop will take stock of progress and challenges for the operational implementation of effectively managed MPAs considered in their national context. Each case study will thus highlight and put into context national policy and institutional issues. In a second step, group discussions will aim at providing concrete recommendations for improving national policies and strategies relevant to the management of MPAs.


The Mediterranean region presents examples of MPAs at different stages of development, and the on-going analysis by MedPAN of the main points to be tackled for a successful, effective and beneficial management for biodiversity, visitors and local stakeholders will be discussed during this workshop supported by lectures from managers, presenting their national and local issues, options and solutions.

Over the years, everybody agreed that the main blockages for reaching management effectiveness are related to the capacity of the country to adopt and when necessary improve the legal framework and the institutional mechanisms related to marine and coastal protected areas, covering specific points such as the participation of all stakeholders, the proper definition of the MPA objectives, the management plan approval and revision, the allocation of financial and human resources, the identification of a proper management body, the collaboration between administrations, the development of a multi parameter monitoring program supported by indicators, the evaluation of results and the adaptation to local or global changes.

After the first round of exchanges, three working groups will be created, gathering Eastern countries, Southern Countries and European Countries with the objective to identify sub-regional concerns, issues and possible solutions inside these groups and, after the restitution, options for cooperation between all the groups for a more effective management.




► Recommendations of the session


1- Clarifying legal frameworks:

• The development of a strategy for MPAs based on the identification of ecological and biological values can help the development of MPA networks. Periodic revision of the strategy based on monitoring systems can help solving problems and focusing on new identified issues.

• Considering the legal and institutional frameworks, it appears necessary to clarify mandates, conflicts of competence and mechanisms of cooperation of all relevant administrations, in particular environment, fisheries, tourism, maritime traffic and marine control. Based on this clarification, the legal framework needs to be assessed and adapted at the national level.


2- Develop and update management plans: Any management plan should give managers latitude to adapt their measures to emerging challenges and issues, regardless of the update cycle of the management plan itself (quick adaptive management).


3- Enhancing surveillance and enforcement:

• Relying on modern technologies (VMS, radar…) can be a cost-effective way to ensure surveillance, especially in remote areas.
• Cooperation between relevant national authorities for control and MPA sworn staff should be realised with strong collaborative mechanism.


4- Strengthening stakeholders engagement and involvement in the management: Local stakeholders, in particular representing sectors from the environment, fisheries, tourism, maritime traffic and marine control, should be systematically associated in the decision structures.


5- Strengthening monitoring: Monitoring programmes should not focus only on environmental values, but also on cultural,social and economic values, and should be supported by appropriate indicators.




CASE STUDY 1 : Coastal and Marine Protected areas in Tunisia: opportunities and challenges of an implemented management

Speaker:  Saba GUELLOUZ, APAL (Tunisia)
In Tunisia, the Coastal Protection and Management Agency (APAL) has initiated a process for the creation and management of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas (MCPAs) since 2000.
The initial strategy had provided for two parallel lines of work: (I) The preparation of management plans was carried out between 2000 and 2004, followed by the procurement of funds and the operational management in the field in consultation with stakeholders for certain sites (eg La Galite, Tabarka, Zembra, Kuriat). This management is granted by the law giving the prerogatives of the APAL (art.9 of law 75-95 of July 1995) but does not allow third parties to oppose to the management plans. (Ii) improving the legal and institutional framework for the creation of MCPAs through the development and promulgation of a new specific law. The law prepared in 2001 could not see the light until July 20, 2009, its implementing decrees promulgated in 2014 have not so far been implemented.
The excessive delays in administrative procedures for changing the legal framework and the lack of political will for the creation of MCPAs hampered the formal establishment of MCPAs and reduced their management to activities agreed with sites stakeholders or which can be carried out by means of the Tunisian general legislation.


CASE STUDY 2 : Karaburuni-Sazan NMP: Make the newborn MPA operational

Speaker:  Lorela LAZAJ, National Agency of Protected Areas in Albania, Regional Administration of Protected Areas, Vlore (Albania)
National Park of the marine natural ecosystem near Karaburuni Peninsula and Sazani Island has been proclaimed on 28 April 2010 by the Council of Ministers, upon the proposal of the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration. The total area of National Park Karaburun-Sazan is 12,570.82 ha, with the marine area near Karaburuni having 9,848.95 ha and marine area near Sazani island having 2,721.87 ha. The park is situated at the border between the Adriatic and Ionian Sea.
It is very well known by its natural, cultural and socioeconomic values such as Posidonia meadows, coralligenous communities, artisanal fisheries, tourism, beaches, archaeological and historical remains, caves with historical scripts, and Historical military remnants etc. All this value are threatened by intense human activities. This has caused a degradation of Posidonia meadows, coralligenous communities, geological formations, archaeological and historical sites, decreased fish stocks, etc. In 2015 the management plan was approved by the MoE and since then the work has been focused on : biodiversity conservation, supporting local communities and sustainable use of natural resources, awareness and education and maintain cultural and historical values by promoting sustainable tourism practices. Since the establishment of National Agency of Protected Areas in February 2015 until today, relevant changes have taken place in the area, on how the natural resources are used for local community or in the perception of the importance of an MPA. The administration of the MPA, is still facing some challenges due to the legislation enforcement,  lack of capacity building and reduced budget to perfectly administrate and monitor the area. Being part of some projects developing in the area, we were able to increase our capacity, increase  staff skills and implementing a fee for tourist. The new low on Protected areas is developing, by giving us the chance to solve some of the main legal deficiencies.


CASE STUDY 3 : Stakeholder engagement and first step in co-management of Telašćica nature park

Speakers:  Vesna Petešić & Milena Ramov, Telašćica nature park (Croatia)
Stakeholder engagement in process of management planning as in implementation of planned activities is crucial to resolve problems as well as to achieve objectives set through management planning.
From participatory approach it is not the same which group of stakeholder you involve in planning process. Through our experience we learned that it is not the same to whom you talk to according to their interest in the process. On one hand, area of the Nature Park is a private property which indicates the necessity to involve local community in the management planning process as well as to respect their opinions and their ideas and incorporate their needs into strategic documents. This group is difficult to motivate because it`s heterogeneous group of people that need long term education about the importance for nature conservation. To create co management with this group needs more time and higher level of engagement to achieve quality communication and motivation for cooperation.
On the other hand, institutions as stakeholders, who have also an importance in achieving of the objectives, have key role in management of the protected area that relies on quality and effective cooperation. Here, the key stakeholders that pop out is in tourism sector due to their significant impact on the use of natural resources of the area. This group is much easier to work with (at least with certain part of the group)  as together we basically have same objectives and we can say that basic co management is created through SEA-Med project (planning process and implementation of Sustainable Tourism Plan).


CASE STUDY 4 : Setting up a dashboard in a Nature Marine Park : from local to national issues

Speaker:  Olivier MUSARD, Nature Marine Park of Gulf of Lion French Marine Protected Areas Agency (France)

Nature Marine Park is a French category of MPAs supervised directly by the French MPAs Agency. Based upon a continuous dialogue with stakeholders and especially with their representatives within the management council, the management has to be connected to a dashboard which has to be set up very quickly after the management plan adoption. This assessment-based approach is driven by a really complex go-between process and underlines a set of scales issues for the indicators to be chosen for 15 years.