CoCoNET Press Release 8

October, 2012

Connecting To Design Better MPA Networks


The workshop on "Species distribution, beta diversity and connectivity" was held in Castiglioncello (Livorno, Italy) between the 16th and 18th of October 2012.

The main objective of the workshop was to synthesize available information on species distribution, beta diversity, biogeography and connectivity to design better MPA networks.

With the participation of 24 scientists from 9 countries this main objevtive has been discussed from different point of views and very efficient agreements were ensured.

Although the general patterns of species richness and distribution have been synthesized recently for the Mediterranean, it was emphasized that a new contribution on species diversity and connectivity should be based on beta diversity and provide links with potentially important environmental drivers.

A preliminary analysis of data on benthic algae and invertebrates indicated that a 50% decay of similarity in species composition may be expected at the spatial scale of about 600 km for the Mediterranean case study. This figure will be refined with the analysis of additional data to assist decisions on site location and spacing in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea case studies.

A template for data organization was agreed upon and this will be further refined and circulated among participants for data sharing. It was agreed that the deadline for contributing data for WP3 Task 2 activities is March 31 2013. Policy rules for data sharing and use have been discussed and a general agreement was achieved also.

International Black Sea Action Day

International Black Sea Action Day is celebrated every year on the anniversary of the signing of the original 'Strategic Action Plan on the Protection and Rehabilitation of the Black Sea' in 1996 by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine.

This plan puts forward the commitment of these countries to the rehabilitation and protection of the Black Sea ecosystem and the sustainable development of its natural resources. CoCoNET project has also contributed to the celebration in order to create awareness.

CoConet Project has been presented to the scientific, governmental and non-governmental communities in Batumi, Georgia at the occasion of the day of Black Sea on 31st of October .

The leader of Workpackage Seven, Prof. Bayram Öztürk made a presentation covering the content, the mission and also the targets of the Coconet Project to a large audience. Accordingly, some posters and brochures about activities concerning Black Sea have been distributed to the attending audience.

Besides, National Environmental Agency has been visited by the committee and CoConet posters and brochures have been delivered there as well.

Promotion of CoCoNET by NIMRD

Promotion and dissemination of CoCoNET project has been carried out proactively by NIMRD "Grigore Antipa" through dissemination of fliers and display of the poster at press conference during 27th of October 2012 at a meeting organized by NIMRD "Grigore Antipa", Balkan Environmental Association and the Complex of Natural Sciences of Constanta.

Over 40 fliers were distributed among the participants: Junior Ranger group of MPA 2 Mai – Vama Veche, students and teachers taking part in the traditional celebration of the Black Sea Day, alerting the public.

The activity promoted understanding and dissemination of knowledge about the Black Sea environment and contributed to the introduction of CoCoNET to the wider community with emphasize to Marine Protected Areas, in particular to MPA 2 Mai – Vama Veche.

Promotion of CoCoNET among NGO partners

The NIMRD has disseminated the information about the CoCoNET Project to the Balkan Environmental Association network which is address to the academia, research institutes, local authorities and NGO partners of the Black Sea and Mediterranean region.

The Environmental Committee of the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece will organize the 2nd International Conference on the New Generation of the Green Infrastructure by the 8th and 9th of November 2012.

The main target of this conference is the updating technology of the renewable energy resources and relating Green Infrastructure. The topics of the conference are focused on Green infrastructure construction; sustainable development and green economy and environmental management and protection.

"Towards Future Sustainable Development" conference will take place at the Faculty of Natural Sciences between 16-18 November 2012 in Albania. Also the annual meeting of the Black Sea Commission Advisory Group on Development of Common Methodology for Integrated Coastal Zone Management will be held in the 3-4 December. With this opportunity the promotion and dissemination will be carried out with presentation and leaflets of CoCoNET project the for Advisory Group members of the six Black Sea riparian countries. The presentation will be done by the representative of the Romanian Focal Point on ICZM, Dr. Mariana Golumbeanu.

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