A transboundary governance model for the conservation of natural resources presented by ETC-UMA

Málaga, 26 March 2021 – More than 50 experts and young professionals engaged in Mediterranean environmental science, policies and civil society involvement have participated in the online training course on “Science-Policy-Society interactions in ecosystem-based marine resources management and planning” over three days, 22 -24-26 March 2021, to exchange expertise and lessons learnt.

The ETC-UMA Director Dania Abdul Malak, coordinator of the Mediterranean Biodiversity protection community (MBPC Interreg Med project) and the BlueMed Coordination and Support Action (Research and innovation for blue jobs and growth in the Mediterranean Area) in collaboration with IOC-UNESCO and the MSP Global Initiative, has been the promoter of this training activity, which has now been endorsed under the Call for Decade Actions for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.



Among the international speakers that took part in the training, Alejandro Iglesias Campos (IOC-UNESCO MSP Global) introduced marine spatial planning (MSP) processes in place, giving the participants historical data and highlighting the importance of a knowledge-based approach for sustainable blue growth. Andrea Barbanti, from ISMAR CNR, insisted on the necessity to constantly add and update knowledge, and on the important links between MSP and the development of marine protected areas (MPAs). The question of what kind of knowledge is needed for an effective MSP was also discussed, and the different needs to help transfer scientific evidence to inform better policy decisions and management practices towards biodiversity protection.  Jean-Baptiste Jouffray of the Stockholm University  introduced how complex marine socio-ecological systems are, focusing on the impacted biosphere necessary to human activities and societies, with different case studies showcasing how to engage with the industry sectors towards real sustainability.

The need for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and cooperation was addressed by Christopher Cvitanovic from the ​Australian National University; scientists need to be enabled to work across disciplines and knowledge systems as well as facilitators between marine science and policy and practice. The engagement of the local communities in better protection mechanisms was debated, including the need to address equity in natural resource management.



This training activity has been preceded by a 2-hour webinar held on 17 September 2020 whose video is available online. If the sanitary situation allows, a presential workshop will close this MBPC training series next autumn in Venice, Italy, hosted by ISMAR CNR.

This collaborative and interactive EBM MSP capacity building opportunity has been co-designed and supported by the Marine Institute (Croatia), the National Research Council – Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR, Italy), the European Topic Centre of the University of Malaga (Spain), and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR) (France) and communication support from MedCities (Spain) and Latte Creative (Italy) with the support of the institutions mentioned above.

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