LIFE MareNatura Project

Conservation of priority species of marine megafauna in Greece and  Italy

For the first time at such scale, an environmental project aims to address the threats that affect nine vulnerable marine species (the Mediterranean Monk Seal, the Loggerhead Turtle, the Green Turtle, the Sperm Whale, the Harbour Porpoise, the Cuvier’s Beaked Whale, the Common Dolphin, the Yelkouan Shearwater and the Audouin’s Gull) and significantly contribute to the conservation of marine biodiversity in Greek waters.

Through the identification and systematic monitoring of important offshore habitats in the Aegean, Ionian and South Adriatic Seas, the project has as an ultimate goal to propose new offshore sites for designation as marine protected areas, enlarging the Natura 2000 network in Greece and implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

LIFE MareNatura is being implemented by twelve direct partners under the coordination of HCMR, namely: ARCHELON, ISPRA, NECCA, UAegean, UoC, NOA, HOS, MOm, MEDASSET, NCC and Waterproof Marine Consultancy & Services. They will join their forces to implement targeted conservation, policy and advocacy, and awareness raising activities. Also, the project’s special policy partner is The Green Tank.  The project is co-funded by the EU and has a total budget of 11M euros.

Main Pillars of Action

  • Establishment of a systematic monitoring mechanism to identify marine biodiversity hotspots and development of a Marine Biodiversity Hotspots Inventory (MOBI).

  • Development of a decision support tool that will facilitate the identification of spatial zones for marine uses.

  • Setting up of a monitoring scheme, which will provide data for the regular assessment of the conservation status of the target species, and an Early Warning System for threats.

  • Awareness raising on marine conservation and marine species through targeted communication activities and engaging policymakers for the  designation of the new sites and the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

Our Role

Our contribution to the project includes policy and awareness raising activities. We will inform targeted decision makers, primarily in Greece, on the need to increase marine protected areas in order to meet the EU 2030 Biodiversity objectives as well as to comply with the expected new post 2020 global biodiversity framework. In addition, it aims to engage them in order to support the designation of the identified biodiversity hotspots as N2K sites. The approach will be two tiered, one addressed to policy makers (Ministers etc.) and the other to relevant authorities form various departments, both at the national, European, and international levels.

In addition, through targeted communication activities, it will inform, raise awareness and increase the share of voice of marine biodiversity conservation and the LIFE MareNatura project results.

“Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

  • Country GreeceItaly
  • Approach AwarenessPolicyResearch

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