After a week of intense research in the eastern Aegean, the “Training on the Monitoring Techniques of the Ecosystem Approach Common Indicators related to Biodiversity Component” was successfully completed. This was carried out by the cooperation of the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/MAP SPA/RAC). The scientists and representatives of national authorities from Lebanon, Egypt and Montenegro undertook training from experts from Tunisia, Libya, Italy and Greece, in cooperation with Archipelagos’ scientists.
For this training, two research vessels of Archipelagos Institute were used as well as modern oceanographic equipment (multi-beam sonar, ROV, robotic camera, hydrophones, echo-sounder).
Through this applied marine research training UNEP/MAP SPA/RAC supports the member states by providing capacity building and best practice exchange opportunities.
This action is carried out in order to implement the Ecosystem Approach, in particular the integrated monitoring and assessment programme (IMAC). This approach was adopted during the Barcelona Convention COP 19 (conference of Parties) in Athens 2016.
The training focused on the Ecosystem Approach Common Indicators related to biodiversity. These components are:
- Extension and status of the protected marine habitats (seagrass meadows, coralligenous reefs).
- Distribution abundance and demography of marine mammals; sea turtles and seabirds.
- Trends and abundance, temporary occurrence and spatial distribution of NIS.
The aim of this action was to facilitate the coordination of the Mediterranean organisations that are active in marine research and conservation. The Mediterranean is considered to be one of the most biodiverse seas in the world. However, there are large knowledge gaps in relation to its biodiversity, inevitably inhibiting its management and conservation. Thus resulting in danger for the marine ecosystems and resources of the Mediterranean seas.