The Network of Marine Protected Areas Managers in the Mediterranean (MedPAN), together with partner institutions, have once again done a remarkable effort and organised the “Forum of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean”. The Forum was held in Antalya, Turkey, from 25 to 28 November.
The aim of this event, the biggest so far, was to address the MPAs conservation and management issues in the Mediterranean region. For the very first time, 300 key players, including representatives of national agencies for the environment, fisheries, tourism and the economy sectors, managers, scientists and NGOs from 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean and beyond, have decided to join their forces and capacities in order to set up a new improved common roadmap aimed to achieve the goals set forth in the Barcelona Convention and to protect, by 2020, 10% of the Mediterranean Sea surface, as well as to pave the way for establishing a comprehensive, effectively-managed and ecologically representative network of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean.
Within the three days of the Forum duration, a wide variety of themes have been discussed, especially through the open dialogue during workshops and round tables. One of the final conclusions and the general consensus was that MPAs should not be considered only and exclusively as marine territories illuminating the necessity of ICZM as an unavoidable step in any MPAs management regime, particularly in the context of stakeholder multiple uses and effects of natural resources within these important but fragile areas. To sum up, this Forum undoubtedly has achieved its mission pointing out one more time that MPAs are everyone’s business.