The 3rd General Meeting of the PEGASO project was organised in the capital of Morocco, Rabat, where the project partners met from 19-22 March 2013. The host of the meeting was the University Mohammed V-Agdal of Rabat, which is one the project partners. The diversity of the partners to the PEGASO project was well represented by the participants including scientists, representatives of international organisations, researchers, end-users and other stakeholders from the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
The agenda of this annual encounter was very rich and the main topics discussed can be summarised as follows: work plans for each Work Package, presentation of the SDI functionalities and their integration to the Web Portal, progress in the CASEs and presentation of latest evaluations, discussion on the future tasks in the CASEs, presentation of the Integrated Regional Assessment, end-users workshop and practice of the Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) tool.
The main objective of the meeting was to present the latest progresses realised in the CASEs and in the functioning of the ICZM governance platform. Very successful steps have been taken, such as the good overall communication and co-ordination established through the governance system, first between the partners, but also between the regional platform and local sites. The ideas exchanged during the meeting helped structure the next key steps for the last period of the project. PEGASO has still 10 months to go.
PAP/RAC participated to the different sessions, and contributed during plenary sessions and discussions on the need to continue the work done in the project, pointing out the success of PEGASO as a living and working network through the governance platform. This should become an overall Mediterranean governance platform to assist the implementation of the ICZM Protocol. All the participants shared their will to continue the initiated work, especially the work with the CASEs and in creating an efficient governance platform. Some regional stakeholders, such as MedWET and IFAMed (Integration of Fisheries and Aquaculture on the Mediterranean coastal planning) have expressed a strong willingness to join the platform once it becomes fully operational.
Particular attention was given to the EU draft directive on MSP and ICZM released on 13 March, which aims to establish a common European framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management in EU Member States. To address the EU expectations and to mark the engagement of the partners to further implement the ICZM Protocol requirements, a PEGASO Declaration will be soon drafted. Out of the last deliverables to be prepared, special focus was on the Business Plan for the future of PEGASO. This document will be presented at the end of the project, and strongly intends to contribute to the future of sustainable development of coastal and marine areas in the Mediterranean, in the Black Sea and beyond. PAP/RAC and MAP in general are expected to be the crucial organisations for the follow up and for the management of the ICZM governance platform in the future.