Mare Nostrum Network: a civil society network for the coastal and marine conservation in the Mediterranean
13 Mediterranean NGOs joined forces with Open Channels, a leading international forum in ocean planning and management, to create a civil society network to work together and exchange ideas towards coastal and marine conservation in the Mediterranean. The network currently comprises 13 members and 4 friends from ten Mediterranean countries.
“Mare Nostrum is on! A new cooperation platform, a new network for our seas.” said Xenia Loizidou, Director of AKTI, a Mare Nostrum Network member from Cyprus. “AKTI promotes and supports the creation of a knowledge-based society with active and aware citizens. We believe Mare Nostrum will be an important platform for building co operations and for promoting common concerns on the marine and coastal environment that is our entire life. All the best to our common effort that starts today!”
The Mare Nostrum Network was launched with a survey of 43 NGOs in eleven Mediterranean countries (Albania, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Slovenia and Spain), following an initial outreach phase to 154 organizations. The NGOs were contacted to better understand the challenges they face and how the Mare Nostrum Network could help them. The full survey report is available online.
“The results show that most organizations wish to exchange knowledge and engage in collaborative actions,” said Andrea Monge, Mare Nostrum Network coordinator. “These organizations stressed the importance of going beyond information sharing and working on capacity building, particularly with regards to community involvement, communications and fundraising.”
The first project supported by the Mare Nostrum Network is SOS Redes, launched by its member Hombre y Territorio. SOS Redes aims to quantify and mitigate the impact of discarded fishing gear in protected areas of the Alboran Sea. The Mare Nostrum Network has facilitated conversations between Hombre y Territorio and other Mediterranean NGOs with similar objectives. Discussions are underway to replicate and scale up the project.
The Mare Nostrum Network has as its objectives:
- To provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and collaboration opportunities between Mediterranean NGOs, in order to reinforce marine and coastal conservation efforts.
- To develop the capacity of its members through a comprehensive list of tools, news, and grants for conservation in the Mediterranean region.
- To raise awareness among the public regarding environmental challenges in the Mediterranean, conservation efforts, and opportunities for involvement (volunteering, participating in campaigns, signing petitions).
If you represent an NGO currently engaged in coastal and/or marine conservation in the Mediterranean you can join our network as a member.
If you would like to learn more about the Mare Nostrum Network and how you can get involved, please visit the website.
Ms. Rotem Bechor, coordinator of the Mare Nostrum Network