Strategic Objective 1 - Establish an ecological network of MPAs which is representative and connected.
With the view of improving the representativeness and connectivity of the Mediterranean MPA network, ecosystems and other components of marine biodiversity that are under-represented should be identified, including in areas beyond national jurisdiction. This would help transforming the network from a group of individual sites, into a real ecological network of MPAs.
In this context, special effort should be made to improve the quality, reliability and spatial coverage of inventories, habitat and species monitoring, as well as monitoring of uses (in and around MPAs) in a view to consolidate regional monitoring. A recognised and standardized methodology will help clarify the terms of connectivity and representativeness on a regional level, but also criteria for assessing the achievement of these goals.
Efforts should be made to develop and maintain national and regional MPA databases (e.g. MAPAMED) and to ensure they are integrated in the IUCN and UNEP World Database on Protected Areas. Collecting and compiling protected areas data are essential in both MPA planning and management and in informing decision-makers and the general public on the progress made as regards the network.
Strategic Objective 2 - Achieve an effective, efficient and sustainable management and a good Mediterranean MPAs governance.
Improving the management and the protection of Mediterranean MPAs is a priority and requires the implementation of all the strategic objectives of this roadmap. Management systems (including fisheries reserves) should be assessed, if possible in a harmonized way on a national level and consolidated on a regional level. Clarification and simplification of the institutional frameworks governing MPAs will be undertaken, as well as strengthening the enforcement of regulations and removing barriers to the proper institutional functioning of MPAs.
Mediterranean MPAs must implement and update management and financial plans while reinforcing synergies with an involvement of all stakeholders. Furthermore, programmes for awareness raising, exchange of experiences and building the management capacities of MPA managers and those of stakeholders should be developed and adapted to the identified needs and the challenges of co-management.
Strategic Objective 3 – Develop a territorially and sectorially integrated governance of Mediterranean MPAs while promoting the sharing of environmental and socio-economic benefits.
MPA governance should be directed towards further involvement of stakeholders and further integration of MPAs into their surrounding territory. It should also integrate other public policies using, as appropriate, relevant tools which correspond to integrated ecosystem-based management and territorial planning. National, European and international policies should be further harmonized and adapted to better integrate biodiversity governance with other sectors. Thus, institutional and operational synergies with other sectors (especially fisheries, river basin management, sea patrolling, taxation, tourism) should be developed on local, national or international levels, while highlighting the benefits for local communities (in particular those linked to the traditional activities of artisanal fishing and ecotourism). MPA co-management based on zoning should be systematically reinforced.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity approaches (TEEB) on marine issues and MPAs will support countries in implementing integrative approaches to MPA co-management. Institutions should regularly develop evaluations of ecosystem services and their value on a local, national and regional level. This information will need to be integrated into statistical systems, national and regional databases (e.g. MAPAMED) in order to help with a mapping of ecosystem services.
In addition, Mediterranean riparian countries and European, Mediterranean and international institutions should regularly identify and progressively replace subsidies which may be detrimental to the marine and coastal environment. They should test innovative “green” policies and procurement procedures, relevant to marine conservation and a “blue economy” which respects biodiversity and the marine environment.
Strategic Objective 4 - Increase the allocation of financial resources to establish and maintain an ecological network of effectively managed MPAs.
The identification and analysis of MPAs financial needs/gaps and a regular evaluation of funding schemes should be done in order to reinforce national policies and institutional frameworks (local, national, international) to improve the funding and diversification of financial resources.
New sustainable financial mechanisms (trust funds, payment for ecosystem services, earmarked taxes, etc.) need to be tested and developed on a local, national and regional level. The lessons learnt will be regularly capitalised on by stakeholders.
The status of national and regional financing of MPAs should be regularly presented to the parties of the Barcelona Convention as indicator of their compliance to Aïchi objective n°20 “. Donors are invited to support the development of long term sustainable financing mechanisms. Furthermore, new donors should be identified and mobilised to support MPAs.