Knowledge sharing event: "Bridging the Science-Practice-Policy Gaps in Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection"


© Illustrations : Yorgos Konstantinou

Plan Bleu, member of the PANACEA Project, participated to the organization of the Knowledge sharing event "Bridging the Science-Practice-Policy Gaps in Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection" held in Barcelona (Spain) on October  23rd and 24th, 2017.

The objective of this event divided into two distinct parts was to gather experts on and the members of the 9 thematic projects of the MED Community on Biodiversity protection, and to develop the Community's Action Plan, following three cross-cutting axes:

- Adressing emergent, transboundary biodiversity protection challenges in protected areas,  such as climate change and marine litter;
- Sustainable resource management with a focus on fisheries;
- Integrated ecosystem monitoring, focusing on freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.

Thus, on October 23rd and 24th, three panels of technical and policy experts were invited to discuss on past and ongoing initiatives in the Mediterranean, on difficulties encountered when looking for data, as well as possible strategies to fill the science-practice-policy gaps.

The day after the conference (25th October) a Community building workshop was implemented to allow the members of the 9 projects of the Community to identify their policy targets and to define an action plan specific to the three topics  addressed during the event.

Content of the panels (23-24 October)

© Illustrations : Yorgos Konstantinou

  • Panel 1: Addressing emergent, transboundary biodiversity protection challenges in protected areas

The objective of the first panel, led by Dr. Ameer Abdulla (IUCN -Word Commission on Protected Areas / University of Queensland) was to illustrate through some examples in which way the protected areas would constitute a strategic tool for strengthening the local ecosystem resilience when facing global environment changes impacts.
Among the panelists were present: the representatives of two MED projects on Marine litter theme (Act4Litter and MedSeaLitter), one MED project on the protected areas adaptation to climate change (MPA-Adapt), the LIFE Blue Natura project on “blue carbon” as a lever for the mitigation of climate change effects, as well as a representative of the European Commission, Maria del Camino Liquete.

  • Panel 2: Sustainable resource management, with a focus on fisheries

The key subjects covered during the second panel, led by Giuseppe Sciacca (CPMR - Executive Secretary of CPMR Islands Commission) were : 1/actors and stakeholders involvement, and 2/participatory decision-making and co-responsibility within the protected areas.
These PAs can be depicted as living laboratories to test and demonstrate the effectiveness of co-responsibility as a guiding principle for sustainable natural resource management.
The panel of experts on the fisheries topic was constituted of representatives from the European Fisheries Areas Network (FAR-NET), the FishMPABlue2 and CONFISH MED Projects and the Director General for Fisheries and Marine Affairs of the Catalonia Government, Sergi Tudela.

  • Panel 3: Integrated ecosystem monitoring, focusing on freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems

The Conference's third panel, led by Sylvain Petit (Programme officer at UNEP-MAP – PAP/RAC), focused on the needs, gaps and challenges in terms of data research for an integrated ecosystems monitoring at European and Mediterranean levels, as well as the legal frameworks to be taken into account for ensuring the integrated ecosystems monitoring and management.
The implementation of integrated approaches to reach good environmental status in coastal and marine areas, as well as land-sea interaction, were key subjects of this last panel.
The panel was animated by representatives from the MED project AMAre on protected areas integrated management, from the European marine observations and data network EMODnet and from the Hybrid Dunes of Barcelona (OPERAs), along with Antoine Lafitte as UNEP/MAP-Plan Bleu expert on ecosystem approach (EcAp initiative).

Documents available


Working document

Recommendations for bridging the science-practice-policy gap in biodiversity protection in the Mediterranean


Identifying recent scientific developments and gaps in biodiversity protection in the Mediterranean, Dania Abdul Malak, Director of ETC-UMA

Introduction to the Panels, Science-Practice-Policy Gaps in Mediterranean Biodiversity Protect, Julia Vera Prieto, Event Facilitator, Travelecoology 

Detailed introduction to the Panels

Panel 1 - Emergent and transboundary challenges to biodiversity: Climate Change and Marine Litter, Ameer Abdulla, Associate Professor, Global Change Institute

Panel 2 - Sustainable use of natural resources in Protected Areas: Artisanal and SSF, Giuseppe SCIACCA

Panel 3 - Integrated ecosystem monitoring & management: addressing key challenges for the Mediterranean, Sylvain Petit, Programme Officer PAP/RAC – UNEP/MAP

Other useful links

Video "Bridging the Science-Practice-Policy Interface in Biodiversity Protection" 
Story line on twitter for the event @MEDCommunity3_2  #MedBiodiversity_BCN2017 
Facebook page photo gallery 
Google Pictures 
Lively illustrations on the speakers and panel discussions by Yorgos Konstantinou
Factsheet on PANACeA project 
Factsheet on Modular Projects 
Factsheet on PANACeA Knowledge Platform