Blue Connect

Strict protection, restoration and co-management of marine protected areas to ensure effective ecosystem conservation and improved connectivity of blue corridors

Project summary

The main objective of BLUE CONNECT project is to directly support effective achievement of marine conservation and restoration targets in the EU and beyond by advancing implementation of the European Green Deal and its EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the European Restoration Law, and the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework of the Convention for Biological Diversity, ensuring the implementation of the EU Mission’s "Restore our Ocean and Waters". A widely applicable ecosystem-based Blueprint will result from applying an innovative, collaborative, science-based and data-driven systematic approach for the designation and management of marine protected areas, including shifting their status from “protected” to “strictly protected” and quantifying their conservation effectiveness.

A co-development approach in cooperation with site-specific stakeholders and citizens in 12 Demonstration sites is set to establish co-ownership for the effective conservation management and their long-term commitment to conservation objectives. The Blueprint will be developed as transferable and scalable beyond the project Demo sites, coupled with a deployment and transferability plan.

Our role

ETC-UMA leads WP5 “Ensuring effective conservation” with the objective of developing a system for monitoring marine conservation effectiveness and assessing conservation outcomes, building on the integrated framework for definition of conservation objectives and governance toolbox for co-defining conservation measures. It is responsible for the deliverable on Best practices in MPA monitoring and assessment through the identification and appraisal of the most relevant monitoring and assessment frameworks / systems to select the most suitable one to be applied in the Demo sites.

In addition to active involvement in all WPs, ETC-UMA in cooperation with the Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico (MITERD) will engage with the Spanish Cetacean Migration Corridor as one of the demonstration sites in focusing the BLUECONNECT Blueprint implementation to the preparation of the management plan/Establishment of co-management/ Connectivity Advisory site. 

More about it

Maria del Mar Otero

mar_otero@uma.es

Maria del Mar Otero is a coastal and marine expert with long experience in the Mediterranean, Europe and Asia. She holds a PhD in Marine Science, an MSc in Shellfish Resource Management and a BSc in Marine Science...

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Dania Abdul Malak

daniaabdulmalak@uma.es

Dania Abdul Malak is a senior environmental researcher and Director of the European Topic Centre at the University of Malaga (ETC-UMA). She has over 15 years’ experience in environmental assessment and management...

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Our partners

Submariner Network For Blue Growth EWIV - Submariner, Germany - Coordinator

Vlaams Instituut Voor De Zee - VLIZ, Belgium

Institut Royal Des Sciences Naturelles De Belgique - RBINS, Belgium

Centyr Za Bregovi I Morski Izsledvaniya - CCMS, Bulgaria

Salt Research As - SALT, Norway

Universiteit Gent - UGent, Belgium

Stichting Deltares - Deltares, The Netherlands

Norsk Institutt For Vannforskning - NIVA, Norway

Tartu Ulikool - UTartu, Estonia

Fondazione WWF Mediterranean - WWF Med, Italy

University of the Highlands and Islands - UHI, United Kingdom

Submon – SUBMON, Spain

Universidade Dos Açores - UAc, Portugal

Institutul National De Cercetare - Dezvoltare Marina “Grigore Antipa” – INCDM, Romania

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection – Helcom Commission, Finland

Balgarska Fondatsiya Bioraznoobrazie – BBF, Bulgaria

Fundação Maio Biodiversidade - FMB, Cabo Verde



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