CoCoNET Press Release 7

September, 2012

The Virtual Workshops Focusing On

The Mediterranean and The Black Sea


Workshop on Socioeconomic impacts of MPA Networks

The virtual focused workshop 'Socioeconomic impacts of MPA Networks in The Mediterranean and the Black Sea', organized by Marta Pascual and Elena Ojea from the Basque Centre of Climate Change, was held on 17-21 September 2012.

The main objective was to understand the existing evidences of socioeconomic impacts of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in both regions. Four sessions were designed for this purpose. The first session focused on the the socioeconomic impacts of MPAs; the second on the methodologies for socioeconomic assessment; the third was about the drivers of change and the fourth session was on the MPA networks and policies.

The objectives of the workshop were to review the evidence of socioeconomic impacts of MPAs and MPA Networks, to share case studies, and to identify the main gaps in knowledge and future improvements in the management of such areas for the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

A total of 90 participants from 12 countries were involved in these sessions, which included CoCoNet researchers, PERSEUS partners and external experts from the institutions in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and other areas, with specific interest in the topic of the virtual workshop.

Sessions were moderated by Paco Melià and Marisa Rosetto from CONISMA (Italy), Melanie Gammon from NBC and Nataliya Milchakova from IBSS. A panel of 10 external advisors has been consulted from international organizations such as UNEP, Conservation International, CIESM, the World Resources Institute, MEDPAN, and Boston University.

As a result, a significant exchange of materials and guidelines on the topics was realized online and the main gaps and future research directions in the field were agreed. The socioeconomic impacts of MPAs were discussed and the group decided to update the existing experience with a review for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Evidences of socioeconomic impacts of MPAs were gathered for the regions of interest, with special focus on the isolation and the geopolitical context of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Case studies were exchanged and reviewed, with the aim of providing new evidences on the performance and methodologies of socioeconomic analysis.

The main drivers for changes in the MPAs were identified with a special emphasis on the potential marine wind energy as a major player interacting with marine protection. Finally, the potential and limitations of MPAs networks were examined. A final report will be produced with the inputs from the advisory board

Workshop on Seabed Mapping

The virtual focused workshop on Seabed Mapping, led by D. Sakellariou (Hellenic Center for Marine Research), took place between 3 - 7 September 2012 in the frame of CoCoNet WP 8. The main scope of the workshop was to exchange experience and ideas on seabed mapping methods & techniques.

The workshop was attended by 22 participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Ukraine, predominantly marine geologists, biologists, oceanographers GIS-experts, environmental scientists with experience in the use of seabed survey techniques (swath bathymetry, side scan sonar, sub-bottom profiling, etc) as a tool for habitat mapping.

This final outcome of the workshop includes comprehensive description of the various remote sensing, geophysical techniques, most commonly used for seabed mapping, best practices for the use of seabed mapping techniques and metadata maps of seabed surveyed areas in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas.

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