CoCoNet Press Release September 2014
A COURSE ON GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL STATUS AND MARINE PROTECTED AREAS (MPAs): A GREAT PROGRESS AND INVESTMENT FOR THE FUTURE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN AND BLACK SEA REGION
CoCoNet (http://www.coconet-fp7.eu/) Summer School 2014 for PhD students and young researchers was on "the Good Environmental Status and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean and Black Seas", held in Rabat, Morocco, 8-13 September, 2014. It was organized by L'Institut Scientifique, Universite Mohammed V Rabat.
Forty participants from 14 countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine) participated in the lively discussions that followed presentations focused on the Descriptors of 'Good Environmental
Status' as mandated by the EU 'Marine Strategy'.
The opening session was chaired by Prof Rajaâ Cherkaoui, vice-President of the University Mohamed V, who emphasized the role of research in the socio-economic development and the protection of nature in order to have a clean and respectable environment. She also referred to the various national and international programs carried out by researchers from the University Mohammed V in the last decade.
The 'status of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas' was presented by Chloë Webster, 'Connectivity in the marine world and in the context of MPAs' by Serge Planes, 'Pristine vs. non-pristine areas in the Mediterranean' by Enrique Macpherson, 'Temperature rises in the Mediterranean Sea its impacts' by Simonetta Fraschetti, and 'A review of the experience on the impacts of energy from sea (offshore wind, wave, current) on the marine and coastal environment' by Takvor Soukissian. Some other presentations were made by European experts in those fields. They were followed by a full day workshop on 'habitat mapping'.
The lecturers presented and discussed how to educate scientists, ocean users, NGOs and policy makers to consider the eleven descriptors defined by DG Environment of the European Commission on the 'Good Environmental Status 'marine waters of the EU (http://ec.europa.eu/environment/marine/good-environmental-status/index_en.htm). CoCoNet aims to facilitate more effective MPA networks to achieve Good Environmental Status, while keeping in mind the contribution of clean energy production through offshore wind farms.