Highly Protected Areas in the Mediterranean: Identifying of Areas of Opportunity
In November 2022, Blue Pangolin Consulting, in collaboration with Blue Seeds, signed a contract with The Pew Charitable Trusts under the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy programme to identify ‘Areas of Opportunity’ to increase the area of the Mediterranean Sea protected by Highly Protected Areas (HPA).
The contract will develop a scoping study that will identify the best opportunities for high and full protection in the Mediterranean; mapping the most promising sites with a core consideration on the concept of biological connectivity based on the identification and protection of key wildlife migratory routes, ecological corridors, and important ecological areas adjacent to, and connecting, the regions existing and potential MPAs.
The study will define and analyse a range of metrics, from ecological importance, MPA connectivity, political will and governance, to socio-economic values and on-the-ground capacity for effective management. These metrics will be analysed, alongside undertaking extensive national, regional and International stakeholder consultations and interviews, to define initial areas within the Mediterranean for the establishment, or expansion of HPAs.
The resulting study will aid Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy to direct their future activities for the strong protection of the Mediterranean.
This consultancy has three central aims:
- To identify, and define, key metrics for the analysis of the current situation in the Mediterranean, and develop a scoping study with clearly identified ‘Areas of Opportunity’ for the establishment, or expansion, of Highly Protected Areas.
- To establish an operational and diverse Advisory Board to identify, and facilitate, linkages with other ongoing projects/initiatives, throughout the region, to ensure maximum consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness.
- To guide Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy to strengthen and increase the overall level of protection within the Mediterranean.
This contract will see close coordination with leading marine conservation organisations, pan-Mediterranean initiatives and stakeholders throughout the region: Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy (PBOL), BlueSeeds, IUCN Med, MedPAN, Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (UNEP-MAP-SPA/RAC), WWF MMI, MedFund, MedSea Alliance, CNRS, and Ocean 5.