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Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas And Aichi Target 11

1.08 % of the Mediterranean is now set aside in Marine Protected Areas.

This what guests learned at an Ocean+ Evening Event held on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and devoted to how regional MPA networks contribute to implementing the CBD Aichi targets, based on the Mediterranean experience

we learned that  Organized by MedPAN, the network of Marine Protected Area Managers in the Mediterranean, the event brought to light MPAs' achievements of the past several years in the Mediterranean.

After a warm welcome from Jihyun Lee, director of the Marine Programme at the CBD, several speakers were invited to discuss with Purificacio Canals, MedPAN chairwoman, the current situation of the MPA system in the Mediterranean, the effectiveness of MPA management as well as the challenges that lie ahead to meet the Aichi target of protecting at least 10 % of the Mediterranean by 2020.

Despite the reality of a challenging political situation and a still insufficient protection in the Mediterranean, the region has shown a strong dynamism in terms of MPAs. The percentage of protection jumps to 5.26% when we include the Pelagos sanctuary, an 88 500 km2 area dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals, and the four Restricted Fisheries Areas in the high sea created by the General Fisheries Commission in the Mediterranean. A strong cooperation exists in the region and organizations such as UNEP's RAC/SPA, WWF, IUCN, Conservatoire du Littoral or other national Marine Protected Areas agencies have joined forces to develop the system of MPAs in the Mediterranean and improve its management. Fifty-five MPAs are in planning, many being located in the South and East of the Mediterranean, where protection has so far been scarce. They will hopefully soon complete the 677 sites that are in existence.

Celebrations went on with drinks, live salsa music, and a book signing by the photographers who recently published “Méditerranées”, a coffee-table book gathering a stunning collection of photographs from around the Mediterranean.

Figure sources: “Status of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterrean Sea”, 2012, MedPAN, RAC/SPA

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