Nine environmental international organisations across the Mediterranean gathered on 2 July in Malaga to discuss how to give shape to an initiative that seeks cooperation in the field of data and information biodiversity in the region.
This was the second meeting of this think-tank made up of institutions such as ACCOBAMS, Tour du Valat/Mediterranean Wetland Observatory, UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan /Plan Blue, the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA) of Barcelona Convention, the network of Mediterranean marine protected area managers (MedPAN), WWF Mediterranean Programme, and the IUCN Centre for the Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med). The regional government of Andalusia and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment were invited along with the European Environmental Agency and the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity.
This think tank discussed on how to achieve more integrated and efficient information as to develop a state and trends of the biodiversity in the Mediterranean in order to influence policy-makers about the importance of preserving the biodiversity. The round-tables were on what for and who will benefit to create a Mediterranean Biodiversity Platform and how each organization can contribute with their resources and under their mandate and expertise.
A first overview of the situation of biodiversity information in the Mediterranean was done in October 2012 within the framework of the preparatory actions towards building a Mediterranean Biodiversity Platform, an idea promoted by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and funded by the regional government of Junta of Andalucía. This first analysis highlighted that the current biodiversity and ecosystem policy framework in the Mediterranean basin is characterized by diversity and a relative fragmentation of the use of legislative instruments and tools. Therefore, information and knowledge about Mediterranean biodiversity is fragmented and still suffers from significant gaps, in particular regarding the geographical distribution of species and habitats, genetic diversity, ecosystem functioning and socioeconomics (notably in the case of wetlands or in the marine environment, especially in several eastern and southern regions of the Mediterranean basin).
The experts will continue the discussion in the coming months regarding the definition of the objectives and a strategy of a potential Mediterranean Biodiversity Platform, as well as the collaboration of other environmental institutions in the region.
This second meeting has been funded by the MAVA Foundation.
Photo: 2nd Think-Tank meeting on the Mediterranean Biodiversity Platform held in Malaga, credit IUCN-Med, Malaga.