Marine Protected Areas are everyone’s business ..
The 2012 Forum for Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean was held on 25th-28th November in Antalya (Turkey). It was organised by the MedPAN Association and its partners (WWF, IUCN, Marine Protected Areas Agency, Conservatoire du Littoral, ACCOBAMS, MedPartnership, GFCM, SAD, TUDAV), the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA), the General Directorate for Protection of Natural Assets (Turkey) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Turkey.
The event closed with the adoption of a roadmap whose aim is to achieve by 2020 a comprehensive, ecological representative, effectively managed and monitored network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean.
The Forum’s ambition was to get all the participants to adhere to a common vision and draw up a roadmap. This roadmap, which is the subject of the «Antalya Declaration», set in motion an unprecedented desire for coordination in the Mediterranean and identifies actions to be undertaken by all stakeholders involved at a technical and political level on a local, national and Mediterranean scale, to ensure the long term conservation of marine biodiversity’s key elements and support sustainable development in the region.
Over 300 key stakeholders from 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean and beyond (33 nationalities represented) and from different sectors all implicated in the marine environment came together and shared their experiences over 4 days in Antalya: marine protected area managers, representatives from national agencies for the environment, fisheries, tourism and the economy, scientists, regional and international partners, local economic stakeholders, NGOs, donors.
The roadmap was finalised, after a long deliberation process which started before the Forum, based on the conclusions and recommendations made by this panel of stakeholders. All those who were involved in this deliberation process can be proud of this roadmap’s great achievement, even if everyone agrees that the hardest part is yet to come: Antalya’s roadmap paves the way for actions to be undertaken and synergies to be built in order to address the issues of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean.