EUROPARC Webinar – Transboundary cooperation to protect marine nature: The Pelagos Sanctuary’s experience

The webinar, marked our first webinar on Transboundary cooperation to protect marine nature. It focussed on the experience of the Pelagos Sanctuary.

Europe is a complex continent with thousands of years of human interaction overlaying the natural world. This has resulted in an abundance of (political) borders that change over time. Nature however, never recognises these human inventions.

Protected Areas represent what is most special across our small, marvellous and populated continent and constitute a “shared European inheritance” of nature protection. Borders create artificial barriers to the management of these valuable natural resources: this is especially true for the marine environment.

The webinar allowed us to explore a very interesting and complex example: the Pelagos Sanctuary. This Marine Protected Area of 87,500 sq. km was created through a Multilateral Agreement between Italy, Monaco and France for the protection of marine mammals. Constanza Favilli, Executive Secretary of the Pelagos Agreement explained how the biggest Transboundary Marine Protected Area in the Mediterranean operates, why it was chosen and the importance of this ecosystem.

Find the presentation here

During the webinar, the European Commission DG ENV offered us inputs and suggestions to the debate, as well as information about the available EU support for cross-border cooperation for marine protection. Vedran Nikolić from the Nature Protection unit at DG ENV especially put the Pelagos example in the context of the EU Green Deal. Vedran underlined how important sufficiently managed Protected Areas are to reach the different goals the EU has set in the past years concerning nature conservation. Furthermore, transboundary cooperation will grow of increasing importance in the upcoming years if the 30% protection of land and sea area will be efficiently reached.