The 4th transnational steering committee meeting of the project TUNE UP “Promoting multilevel governance for tuning up biodiversity protection in marine areas” was successfully completed on Thursday 26th November 2020.
The TUNE UP project, in which twelve partners from seven countries of the Mediterranean region participate, is co-financed by the European Programme Interreg Med. Due to the covid19 pandemic, this transnational regular meeting which was originally scheduled to take place in Seville (Spain) was eventually held as a teleconference.
The meeting has organized by one of the Spanish project partners, FAMP (http://www.famp.es/es) and coordinated by the project lead partner, ANATOLIKI (http://www.anatoliki.gr/en/). The meeting was attended by all project partners as well as by the representatives of the Plan Bleu (https://planbleu.org/en/projects/med-biodiversity-protection-community/#). Plan Bleu is one the Regional Activity Centres of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Plan Bleu actively assists the TUNE UP project to identify synergies with other Interreg Med projects (https://interreg-med.eu/) through networking activities, such as participation in events, exchange of project results etc.
During the meeting all project partners presented the progress of their activities during the past 6 months and the planning for the next semester. Since June 2020 the project partners:
- submitted successfully the first project report which was embraced by the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg Med programme who oversees the progress of the TUNE UP project.
- were trained on the methodology implemented during the WETNET Interreg Med project (https://wetnet.interreg-med.eu/) through online webinars. These webinars were aimed to present the participatory process that took place for the preparation of local River/Wetland contracts, in the form of Memorandum of Understanding, with interested stakeholders to achieve a viable solution for the management of wetlands.
- consulted with project partners involved in the WETNET Interreg Med project on a case-by-case basis to further elaborate on how to capitalize the River/Wetland contract methodology taking into consideration the characteristics of their corresponding pilot site.
- carried out a preparatory analysis to explore possible ways to integrate the MPA contracts in local and regional governance, as well as to identify the regulatory framework, the local challenges for biodiversity conservation and stakeholders involved in the management and resource use of their corresponding pilot site.
- organized the first meetings, in the form of local conferences, with local stakeholders aimed to inform them on the project objectives and engage them in the participatory process that will be held for the formulation of the MPA contracts.
- held the first thematic meetings, in the form of territorial labs, with local stakeholders to decide on the content of the local Memoranda of Understanding for the 10 MPAs. During this participatory process the attendees will jointly identify the main problems and possible solutions in an environmental and socioeconomic context.
- participated in various networking events aimed to promote the project but also exchange knowledge and expertise with other projects, such as the MBPC meeting (https://biodiversity-protection.interreg-med.eu/no-cache/media-calendar/news/detail/actualites/the-european-green-deal-and-the-new-biodiversity-strategy-for-healthy-wetlands-the-mediterranean-ca/) held during the EU Green Week to highlight the contribution of marine biodiversity to our economy and society, the EUROPARC Federation webinar on climate change adaptation in protected areas (https://www.europarc.org/news/2020/10/webinar-climate-change-adaptation-in-protected-areas/) and the ECOMONDO expo workshop on tackling marine litter in the Mediterranean through networking (https://www.ecomondo.com/link/seminari-e-convegni/e16176913/networking-for-tackling-marine-litter-in-the-mediterranean-sea.html).
Overall, the foreseen activities have been progressing with some delays due to the covid19 pandemic. For this reason, the project partnership reevaluated the planning for the next semester to make sure that all project objectives will be achieved successfully and in time.