The marine protected area contract as a collaborative tool : The Lazio region case study

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The Mediterranean basin is considered one of the most important hotspots of biodiversity in the world in terms of the richness of species (many endemic and rare species in need of conservation) and ecosystems. It hosts 1,215 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs), covering 171,362 sq. km which places a surface of 6.81% under a legal designation. Over 72.77% of the surface covered is located in the Western Mediterranean, 90.05% of the total surface covered by MPAs and OECMs are found in EU waters (MedPan, 2016). To safeguard and secure the well-being of the species and habitats of the Mediterranean basin, MPAs need to be well-enforced and connected through a network of geographically distinct marine regions allowing marine wildlife to move and disperse securely. This requires a harmonized proper management plan and multilevel governance to operate as an effective protection tool for halting the loss of marine biodiversity and abating human-induced threats, such as fishing, marine traffic, and recreational activities (Mazaris et al., 2019). The Mediterranean is threatened by anthropogenic pressures and climate change and even if it hosts many protected areas, they are not always effective due to the fragmentation of administrative competencies and difficulties in creating networks. Over time networks have been created among MPAs such as MedPan 2 which aims to promote the establishment, the operation, and the sustainability of a Mediterranean network of Marine Protected Areas.
Mediterranean, biodiversity, Marine Protected Areas, Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures, Med TUNE UP, EU Interreg project