MedPAN: successful cooperation in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean hosts several endangered species and ecosystems, and is ecologically vulnerable, having been subjected for years to growing human pressure.
Since 1990, MedPAN is the Network of Managers of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean.
The network aims at easing contacts between MPAs, giving them support in management activities. It successfully promotes and implements cooperation programmes and strategies, improving MPAs effectiveness.

Since 1990, MedPAN is the Network of Managers of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean. The network has a legal independent structure since the end of 2008 and its permanent secretariat is now established in Hyères, France.
The network aims to ease contacts between MPAs, giving them support in management activities in order to improve MPA management effectiveness.
The objective of MedPAN is to achieve the goal set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro, 1992): creating and maintaining comprehensive national and regional systems of well-managed and ecologically representative marine protected areas. Moreover, it contributes to the implementation of the Barcelona Convention; particularly its protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (Barcelona, 1995) that encourages countries to establish and manage specially protected areas, promoting research and cooperation programmes.
Many Mediterranean marine protected areas, especially in the south basin, often lack means to ensure effective management and real conservation measures. The MedPAN network aims at improving the capacity of managers; it favours the sharing of experiences and good practices among managers (e.g. through capacity building programmes). Moreover, it aims to make the role of marine protected areas known and encourage their recognition.
Within the network, more than 30 members and about 20 partners -which manage over 40 MPAs and are looking forward to the creation of new ones- are cooperating to achieve innovative and sustainable MPA management.
MedPAN North and MedPAN South are two independent projects operating simultaneously within the MedPAN framework, respectively in the northern and southern Mediterranean. While MedMPanet project (RAC/SPA) aims at enlarging the regional network and improving its ecological representativeness.
MedPAN is an effective network for reducing biodiversity loss at international and regional level, implementing research programmes, through the exchange of scientific and technical information, and designing common cooperation programmes. The network can benefit local populations and development, especially in fishing and touristic areas.