Oceana last week presented MedNet, a proposal for a network of 100 marine protected areas in the Mediterranean, to the scientific community at the International Conference on Marine and Coastal Ecosystems, MarCoastEcos2012. The conference addressed the protection of marine and coastal areas, and other important issues related to the preservation of ecosystem functioning, climate change, coastal erosion, sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and marine law and policy among others.
The event hosted the main institutions of conservation of the Mediterranean and many scientific institutions and universities from Mediterranean countries. Oceana presented a paper to the scientific community that details the network of marine protected areas proposed in MedNet. This is the first time the international marine conservation organization has worked in Albania, and Tirana thus becomes the sixth capital in which the organization has presented MedNet, after Madrid, Paris, Tunis, Beirut and Brussels.
"Mediterranean countries are increasingly aware of the need to protect marine resources and the fact that Oceana is present in these forums means that our work is being recognized by scientific authorities," said Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana Europe. "Albania is in an area of great oceanographic importance, the Strait of Otranto, where no offshore marine protected areas exist."
"We must continue our efforts to use proposals like Oceana MedNet as roadmaps for the strategic conservation of the Mediterranean region,” added Pilar Marín, a marine scientist with Oceana. “Furthermore, the acceptance of the proposal at a meeting of this calibre shows that it is supported by the scientific community, which is increasingly more actively involved in decisions making related to conservation policies."
The conference, organized by major universities in the country and the Association for the Protection of Aquatic Life (APAWA), took place in Tirana (Albania) between April 25th and 28th.
Since its introduction in February 2011, Oceana continues to share the MedNet proposal in order to contribute to achieving the goal of protecting 10% of the Mediterranean as required by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the 2020 Aichi objectives.
More Information: Oceana MEDNET