Capacity building strategy to enhance the management of MPAs in the Mediterranean sea

The capacity building efforts of the MedPAN South Project led to the understanding that there is the need for a more structured capacity building program to support MPAs in the Mediterranean Region and to ensure that they can meet their management objectives. To this end, WWF, MedPAN and RAC/SPA spearheaded a study to assess the needs and priorities across the region, both at the MPA and national level. Through a series of questionnaires, interviews, and workshops, they collected information that represents the baseline for building a regional, integrated and feasible capacity building program.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been accepted as one of the most effective tools for biodiversity protection and to combat ever-increasing demands on coastal and marine resources. In the Mediterranean, the number of MPAs is fast-growing (185 at present1), however not all MPAs are fully functional or have qualified staff, resulting in poor planning and ineffective management. Capacity building is a mechanism to deliver skills and transfer knowledge to MPA staff, through a series of tailored actions that begin in the classroom and are carried into the field. Tailored programmes for MPAs are now becoming more common (see this report), offering a variety of capacity building approaches and outcomes.

The scope of this report is specifically coastal and marine protected areas. The goals of this study were to:

a) assess current capacity building needs and priorities at both the national and the MPA levels;
b) analyse existing capacity building programmes and activities in the region;
c) evaluate current capacity building achievements;
d) formulate a capacity building strategy that responds to the management needs of the Mediterranean MPAs at the regional, national and local levels and
e) develop integrated and feasible delivery mechanisms with the collaboration of regional and national actors.

This report which you can download here (PDF File) was developed jointly by WWF, MedPAN and RAC/SPA with the collaboration of several other organizations.