Preserving the coastal and marine environment: the Marine Protected Areas

Support the drive for nature conservation and promote its effects on sustainable development in the Mediterranean riparian states

The Mediterranean, one of the world’s twenty-five hotspots for biodiversity

Comprising a mere 0.7% of the world’s oceans by surface area and 0.3% by volume, the Mediterranean is one of the main pools of marine and coastal biodiversity, with 28% of endemic species as well as 7.5% of the world’s marine fauna and 18% of its flora.

This wealth of biodiversity is exposed to numerous man-made pressures, and facing a 40% built up coastline. The risk of degradation in the shallow waters is even greater in the countries on the Northern shores, where coastal urbanisation can reach 70%. The concentration of socio-economic activity on the coastline together with the phenomenon of climate change is further exacerbating the threat to biodiversity in the region.

Assessing in economic terms the effects of Marine Protected Areas

The Plan Bleu, such as various partners, is contributing to the Mediterranean Strategic Partnership for the Large Marine Ecosystem (MedSPLME). Launched by the Global Environment Fund, this initiative depends on the participation of various bodies including the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (French Global Environment Fund), which is supporting the Plan Bleu’s programme of work on the marine environment in order to highlight the effects of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and assess them in economic terms.

Having explored the economic assessment of the benefits rendered by Mediterranean marine ecosystems in 2011 the Plan Bleu established a process to address the effects of MPAs on the sustainable development of territories and estimate them in economic terms.

Study on the socioéconomic impacts of Mediterranean Marin Protected Areas

With the support of its regional partners and in the riparian countries the Plan Bleu has launched the six following case studies on MPAs or planned MPAs to the North, South and East of the Mediterranean:

  • Ex ante assessment of the effects of the Mount Chenoua and Anses de Kouali protection project (Algeria)
  • Assessment of the effects of the Natural Park of Cap de Creus on the sustainable development of the surrounding area (Spain)
  • Assessment of the effects of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (NMPZ) on the sustainable development of the surrounding area (Greece)
  • Assessment of the effects of the protected area of the Kuriat islands on the sustainable development of the surrounding area (Tunisia)
  • Assessment of the effects of the Kas Kekova Specially Protected Area (SPA) on the sustainable development of the surrounding area (Turkey)
  • Assessment of the influence of the Pelagos Sanctuary on maritime activities and their environmental impacts (France)

More information: Economic study of the impacts of marine and coastal protected areas in the Mediterranean
 

Key figures

In 2009, globally,120,000 protected recorded, i.e. 12.2% of land area, 5.9% of territorial waters and 0.5% of the high seas

In 2008, 4% of the Mediterranean protected, largely thanks to the Pelagos sanctuary, 53% of which in the high seas

According to the Plan Bleu, 2% of the continental waters currently covered by the Mediterranean MPAs

Partners

IUCN Med, MedPAN, RAC/SPA, WWF MedPO

More information