The Tangier declaration: the role of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas in climate change mitigation and adaptation

Cinque Terre National Park, Italy

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The 2nd Forum of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean was organised last week by MedPAN (the network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean), RAC/SPA and the “Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et la lutte contre la desertification du Royaume du Marroc”. The Forum created the Tangier Declaration, setting up recommendations for the Mediterranean Sea in order to reach the international objective of 10% Mediterranean surface covered by a protection status, as stated in the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).


“Marine Protected Areas are everyone’s business!”

Over 300 key players involved in the marine environment gathered in Tangier, Morocco, from the 28th November to 1st December. The final output of the Forum was the creation of the Tangier declaration that will be used to update the 2020 MPA Roadmap elaborated at the 2012 MPA Forum in Antalya. This Roadmap aims to support the achievement of the international objective set by the Convention on Biological Diversity to protect 10% of the Mediterranean Sea through an effective network of MPAs by 2020.

The Roadmap will be updated with the most recent institutional framework and a new strategic objective related to the role of MPAs as a marine spatial management tool in supporting ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation to climate change. Key operational and action-oriented steps will also be considered, to improve and help achieve the Roadmap objectives by 2020.

During the Forum, participants reviewed the MPA progress achieved in the last 4 years, discussed the remaining challenges to 2020, considered recent global, regional and sub-regional marine policy developments regarding the ecosystem approach, sustainable development and climate change issues, and considered the recommendations from the different sessions of the Forum.

Download the Tangier Declaration.

Integrating N2000 objectives in MPA management

workshop-medpan-forumEUROPARC coordinated a Focus session on Integrating N2000 objectives in MPA management, where recommendations to be integrated in the Tangier Declaration were made.

Today, the Natura 2000 network covers 4,9% of the EU Mediterranean waters and it represents the biggest share of current MPAs, largely overlapping with other MPA designations in EU waters (national designations/Barcelona convention). This means, that many of MPAs in the Mediterranean have to implement the legal obligations stemming from the EU nature directives.

Teresa Pastor and Laurent Fourbès, vice-president of MedPAN, moderated the session, which gathered around 30 people. Fotios Papoulias, from EC DG ENV, introduced the Natura 2000 management framework and Bruno Meola, from MedPAN, presented a regional overview of marine Natura 2000 sites in the Mediterranean.

The practical aspect of the session came from two case-studies:

  1. The management of Agathoise Coast MPA and Natura 2000 using the DOCOB (Document d’Objectifs) instrument by Renaud Dupuy de la Grandrive – Manager Director of the Marine Environment, Ville d’Agde , France
  2. Challenges towards the creation and management of a new MPA around the Gyaros Natura 2000 site. (CYCLADES LIFE Project, Greece) by Ioli Christopoulou – Nature Policy Officer, WWF Greece

The session concluded with the following recommendations that would be integrated as an Annexe of the Tangier Declaration.

1)       The  network of people working in MPA may support the EC and countries in strengthening the effective management of marine Natura 2000 sites, namely through capacity-building of Mediterranean marine Natura 2000  managers, thus better integrating with the Natura 2000 biogeographical Process approach.
2)     Encourage Member States to allocate the necessary human resources to afford the adequate in situ management to designated marine Natura 2000 sites.
3)     Beyond the boundaries of the network of marine Natura 2000, establish mechanisms in cooperation with and in support of non EU countries in order to warranty the conservation of key functional areas, namely for highly mobile species, in order to reach coherence of the Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas network.

During the Forum, SPA/RAC introduced the short film “EcAp for the Mediterranean”, which aims at raising awareness on the urgent protecting of the Mediterranean and introduces the Ecosystem Approach, developed in the framework of the EcAp-Med II Project.

For more information about Marine issues, please contact Stefania Petrosillo – s.petrosillo @