Webinar: Tourism Strategies in Marine Protected Areas

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Tourism Strategies in Marine Protected Areas

18th July 2017, 14:30 CEST (Central and Eastern Europe Summer Time)


For over 20 years, EUROPARC has been supporting Protected Areas becoming Sustainable Destinations, with the development of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas (ECSTPA).

The aim of all Charter projects and activities is the protection of the natural and cultural heritage along with the continuous improvement of tourism for the Park, its visitors, local population, and businesses. Among our network of 157 Sustainable Destinations, we invited 3 Marine Protected Areas to share with us the important work they are doing at tourism level.

On this EUROPARC webinar, we will hear how the Andalucian Government (Spain) is monitoring and regulating the tourism activities within the Strait of Gibraltar; and will get to know the efforts of Cinque Terre National Park and MPA to have a more inclusive and accessible underwater tourism.

The webinar will be presented by Teresa Pastor, Ph.D from the University of Barcelona in Marine conservation, and currently Project and Policy Development Manager at the EUROPARC Federation. Teresa has a deep knowledge about the Mediterranean basin, due to her thesis on the highly endangered Mediterranean monk seal, and for the past years has been working with protected areas from across Europe. She will provide us an overview of the impact of human activity on fragile marine ecosystems and introduce the importance of developing sustainable tourism strategies in Marine Protected Areas.

Two case studies from the Charter Network, EUROPARC’s network of Sustainable Destinations, will be presented:

Case Study 1 – The underwater trail for disabled scuba divers

by Claudio Valerani, Cinque Terre National Park, Riomaggiore Province of La Spezia, Italy

In Cinque Terre National Park and Cinque Terre Marine Protected Area (MPA), the administration proposed a project of sustainable water tourism for disabled scuba divers and snorkels: an underwater trail, guided by a rope, on the amazing bottom of the MPA. The trail – a circle design of 18 meters under water – is easily accessible to every type of visitors, including handicapped divers. The Park assists the disabled scuba divers through a specialized tour with expert guides and, with the support of underwater microphones and special masks, they provide a safety and unforgettable experience under water.

Claudio Valerani Graduated in Environmental Toxicology and since 2004 is a collaborator of the Marine Protected Area of the Cinque Terre and is part of the MPA Park Office.

Case Study 2 – Management and promotion of sustainable tourism activities in the MPAs around the Strait of Gibraltar

by Soledad Vivas, Agency of Environment and Water, Regional Government of Andalucía, Spain

estrecho nature park, sustainable tourism, marine protected area

Parque Natural del Estrecho, Andalucia, Spain

The coast of Andalucia is heavily influenced by human activities – fishing, economic activities within the port, tourism and recreation, and urbanisation. The high impact of these activities on the marine ecosystems, encompassed by the Estrecho Nature Park and La Breña y Marismas del Barbate Nature Park, require effective measures to safeguard its natural values, without restricting the possibilities of development of the local population. To this end, the Andalusian Government has carried out a series in-depth studies to monitor and characterize the territorial sea, developed new laws to regulate tourism activities, and planned to implement projects that promote nautic activities based on new technologies and knowledge of the marine environment.

Soledad Vivas has a Phd in Biology and is the Coordinator and responsible, in the Agency of environment and water (Regional Government of Andalucía) of the activities related to the management and conservation of marine threatened species and habitats.

How to join?

Webinars are open not only to EUROPARC members – but to everyone with an interest in Protected Areas. You can join in from anywhere: you will just need a device with internet connection. Participation is free, but you need to register first! Register here.
The webinar is held in English and participants will have the chance to join the discussion with the invited speakers, at the final part of the webinar.