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How to improve the efficiency of public participation processes in coastal management July 2, 2015

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Source: Science for Environment Policy

Public participation in developing coastal management plans can have numerous benefits, such as augmenting expert information with local knowledge and building trust, a new study has confirmed; however, challenges remain, say the researchers. They use the experiences of 10 case studies to make a series of recommendations regarding how to improve the efficiency of the process.

Public participation has a valuable role to play in the development of sustainability policies; it can enhance the democratic nature of the process, encourage knowledge exchange, foster trust and help reach a consensus. It is considered to be particularly important when managing coastal environments, as this complex task involves many different stakeholders all using the areas in different ways. However, public participation can also create challenges; it can be expensive, labour-intensive, confrontational, and can cause delays to the development and implementation of policies.

To date, there has been little research into ways of improving the process or methods to avoid pitfalls. For this study, researchers examined how to improve the efficacy of public participation in Integrated Coastal Zone Management. In particular, they examine the results of an EU project, PEGASO1, using 10 case studies, chosen to represent different spatial scales, issues, expertise and experiences. Seven of these were in the Mediterranean (in Morocco, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon) and three in Black Sea (in Romania, Ukraine, Georgia). Each case study group was able to develop its own methods for public participation, after a training course offered by the project.

After exploring the experiences of the 10 case studies, the researchers found that public participation had many positive impacts. It raised awareness regarding the importance of coastal management and ensured that knowledge was shared as well as partly bridging the gaps between the public, scientists, coastal managers and decision makers. However, there were areas that could be improved, and these can be summarised into five main recommendations:

1) It is very important that relevant data are available and easily interpreted. To make informed decisions the participants need to have access to a range of information concerning different issues and perspectives.

2) Although information from stakeholders is very valuable, helping to bridge gaps between expert and local knowledge, collating and combining these different types of data and information in the case studies proved very difficult and time consuming. Putting a procedure in place to deal with this challenge from the beginning of the process is important.

3) It is essential that there is co-ordination and flexibility between the many actors involved in coastal management. Government agencies, NGOs, businesses, research institutes and others all need to work together. Public participation can only work if it has a co-ordinated structure to build on.

4) It is important to encourage local stakeholders to take the lead in the participation process, to ensure that it can continue after the funded project has come to an end. Coastal management is a long-term process and public participation should continue to provide input.

5) There is often a mis-match between large-scale pressures on coastal environments and the local-scale governance used to manage them. This is also an important issue for the participation process, and should be taken into account when identifying which stakeholders to include.

Massive UNFCC supported citizen consultation results on climate action to be presented at Bonn UNFCCC talks June 11, 2015

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Source: climateobserver.org

Thousands of people from about 80 countries on Saturday (June 6) participated in a multisite consultation on climate and energy actions, involving more than 10000 citizens.

The “World Wide Views” initiative (launched by the UNFCCC Secretariat and implemented by World Wide Views Alliance, with the support of the Danish Board of Technology Foundation, Missions Publiques and the French National Commission for Public Debate) aims at bringing the views of citizens on climate and energy issues to the attention of governments, public officials, UN institutions, local authorities, stakeholders and companies. The questions address a wide range of topics, organized under five thematic sessions: importance of tackling climate change, tools to tackle climate change, UN negotiations and national commitments, fairness and distribution of efforts, making and keeping climate promises.

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Mediterranean region exposed to resource depletion and price volatility May 18, 2015

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The Mediterranean region currently uses approximately 2.5 times more natural resources and ecological services than its ecosystems can provide. Consequently, the region depends heavily on imports and is vulnerable to volatility in the international price levels of natural resources such as agricultural commodities, minerals and fossil fuels.

These are among the findings of a new article published April 25 in the journal Environmental Science & Policy (Elsevier). The paper was co-authored by three researchers from the international think tank Global Footprint Network (MIO-ECSDE’s Member) and titled “Physical limits to resource access and utilization and their economic implications in Mediterranean economies.” The article is available for free download at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901115000696.

The authors find that a 10% increase in the price of natural resources would result in a worsening of countries’ trade balances equivalent to as much as 2.4% of the GDP, as in the case of Jordan. Italy, France and Greece, moreover, would see their resource import bills increase by approximately US$ 9.2 billion (equivalent to 0.5% of its GDP), US$ 8.4 billion (0.3% of its GDP) and US$ 1 billion (0.4% of its GDP), respectively . Only two countries would see an improvement in their trade balance – Algeria and Libya – due to more revenues from oil exports.

In the last 50 years the Mediterranean region’s population doubled and its per-person consumption levels increased 54 percent since 1961, according to the article. Half of the region’s natural resources are imported, mainly from the USA, China, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Growth in population and consumption levels worldwide has led to more competition for resources at a time when the economies of many Mediterranean countries have suffered from economic downturns. The result, conclude the authors, is that the Mediterranean countries have less financial means to buy resources from outside their borders.

“Overall, it appears that the changing global context of resource availability is making the long-held pattern of resource consumption in the Mediterranean untenable“ the authors conclude.

FIGURE: Sensitivity to natural resource price changes (SPC) for Mediterranean countries.

Naomi Klein: This Changes Everything – video May 18, 2015

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Source: The Guardian

Naomi Klein didn’t think climate change was her issue but when she realised the close link between environmental destruction and inequality, everything changed. In Naomi’s home country, the Canadian government granted virtual free rein to companies seeking oil in Alberta’s tar sands, creating a boom town in Fort McMurray. Like large numbers of activists across the world, the indigenous population in Alberta protested the environmental damage. How can we connect the dots among movements around the world to tackle climate change and inequality at the same time?

This is an edited excerpt from a work-in-progress. The feature length documentary This Changes Everything, directed by Avi Lewis, will be completed and launched later this year

CleanSea consortium meets in Amsterdam to share preliminary results and prepare roadmap for clean seas February 3, 2015

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The CleanSea Project team met at IVM-VU University Amsterdam on 28 and 29 January 2015, marking the end of the second project year. Preliminary results were presented and discussed among project partners, who left the meeting prepared for the work to be done in the final year of the project (project runs January 2013 to December 2015). The meeting gave attention to a special outcome of the project: a “Roadmap” to a future litter-free sea, a document (in preparation) that will integrate project results across natural and social science research and provide guidance to policy makers and others tackling marine litter across European seas.

Several staff of the EUCC Mediterranean Centre attended the meeting as communication leaders and Mediterranean regional partner conducting research on socioeconomics and governance.

Researchers discussed aspects such as the biological effects of microplastics at the level of organisms, populations and ecosystems. These particles are caused by fragmentation, a topic also being studied in an indoor ‘plastic soup’ test system within the project. A newly designed microlitter sampler has been tested and fine-tuned and promises to be a valuable tool for future research and monitoring of the water column. Hyperspectral imaging, Raman spectrometry and mass spectrometry techniques are three approaches to identify plastics in environmental samples that are being applied in the project. Field sampling is continuing to produce micro- and macrolitter data in the European marine environment, some of which is also being used as input for the modeling exercises within the project.

Economic costs of marine litter in the fisheries sector, ports and on recreational beaches are being studied, as well as beach users’ perceptions in the three regional seas (North, Black and Mediterranean). The progress towards analysis of best practices and short-and long-term policy options to reduce marine litter in Europe was presented. These analyses encompass not only regulatory and market-based instruments but also more bottom-up approaches (e.g. co-management, communicative) to identify points of intervention in different areas of the manufactured product system that could be used to reduce marine litter. The project will address innovations and policy integration as part of the mix that can help Europe reach Good Environmental Status (GES).

The Black Sea Commission was represented at this meeting by BSC Officer Ms. Irina Makarenko, who provided advice and input from the perspective of this important Regional Sea Commission.

CleanSea is entering a crucial stage of validating and integrating the wealth of knowledge and data coming out of the project, which can be transferred to a variety of stakeholders. As a final project dissemination event, the CleanSea Symposium and Documentary Film Presentation will be held on the 3rd of December 2015 at the EYE Film Institute, a spectacular venue in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This event is open to all interested stakeholders and the public.  Save the date!

Med-IAMER: Stakeholders consultation process – Adriatic-Ionian ecoregion January 23, 2015

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Med-IAMER: Stakeholders consultation process – Adriatic-Ionian ecoregion

Deadline : 28 February 2015This survey is part of the stakeholders’ consultation process led by Plan Bleu in the framework of Med-IAMER project. Med-IAMER proposes an integrated environmental status assessment to mitigate environmental risks to be addressed at trans-boundary scale in the Mediterranean Sea. The approach draws on the main pressures and the conservation level in the Western Mediterranean and the Adriatic-Ionian ecoregions to identify spatial hotspots of environmental pressures. (More information: http://www.medmaritimeprojects.eu/section/med-iamer)

Through this survey, we would like your feedback and comments on Med-IAMER preliminary results in the Adriatic-Ionian Basin, presented via factsheets, in order to improve the knowledge on the:
• major drivers and pressures identified in the Adriatic-Ionian region;
• data/indicators needs and gaps;
• most relevant policies and governance arrangements in influencing the level of pressure on resources.

Pescares, un proyecto que implica a todos los usuarios de las Reservas Marinas November 13, 2014

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El “Proyecto Pescares” es una iniciativa colectiva, desarrollada por Océano Alfa, para promover y difundir la labor de las Reservas Marinas Pesqueras, el conocimiento de la pesca artesanal como fundamento de su creación y fomentar la práctica del buceo seguro y responsable.

El proyecto está cofinanciado por la Fundación Biodiversidad del Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente (MAGRAMA) y Fondo Europeo de Pesca (FEP), y cuenta con el apoyo de la Secretaría General de Pesca. El objetivo global de este proyecto es promover y fomentar la protección y conservación de los recursos pesqueros y naturales de dos reservas marinas: Cabo de Gata-Nijar y Cabo de Palos-Islas Hormigas.

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ADRIPLAN (ADRiatic Ionian maritime spatial PLANning) REGIONAL WORKSHOP FOR FOCUS AREA 2 June 10, 2014

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Corfu, Greece 27th of June 2014

Following the save-the-date we sent last week, we have the pleasure to send you further details about the ADRIPLAN regional Workshop on Focus Area 2  that will be held in Corfu on 27th of June 2014.

The ADRIPLAN project aims at delivering a commonly-agreed approach to cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-region, considered as a whole and more specifically through two Focus Areas (Focus Area 1: Northern Adriatic Sea and Focus Area 2:  Southern Adriatic / Northern Ionian Sea).

The workshop, organized in cooperation with Ionian Islands Region and Apulia Region, is aimed at presenting the ADRIPLAN Initial Assessment results, discuss needs and priorities of the MSP emerged from the report, involve the stakeholders in the process providing information and obtaining feedbacks and define cross-border conflicts and synergies at Focus Area level.

Please find attached the Agenda of the Workshop, and  the practical information on how to reach the venue and the list of hotels.

You will find all the information concerning the workshop including the background documents and the registration  in the ADRIPLAN website: http://adriplan.eu/

In order to better understand the perception of stakeholders about priorities and needs we have issued a questionnaire and we would appreciate if you can dedicated few minutes of your time contributing to this survey, available at the following address:


The results of the survey will be discussed during the workshop in Corfu.

Aplicación para teléfonos para el análisis de basuras en playas June 6, 2014

Posted by euccmed in Mediterranean News, Research&Projects.
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La Asociación Vertidos Cero, con el apoyo de la Fundación Biodiversidad del Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente (MAGRAMA) y KAI Marine Services, ha desarrollado en 2013 un protocolo para la caracterización y gestión de las basuras marinas en playas mediante el muestreo en puntos concretos de las costas españolas.

En la segunda fase del proyecto MARNOBA se ofrece al usuario la posibilidad de utilizar el protocolo a través de una aplicación móvil creada para Android y iOS. Los datos obtenidos a partir del formulario de objetos recogidos, caracterizados por categorías, se muestran en la sección RESULTADOS de esta página web.

El objetivo del proyecto es recopilar datos cuantitativos referentes a las basuras marinas, para poder evaluar propuestas orientadas a evitar la generación de las mismas y su llegada al mar.

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Cierre del proyecto INDEMARES April 22, 2014

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Casi 5 millones de hectáreas por explorar, diez socios y un presupuesto de 15,4 millones de euros. En 2009 este fue el punto de partida del proyecto LIFE+ INDEMARES, el mayor esfuerzo realizado hasta la fecha para mejorar el conocimiento y la protección de la extraordinaria riqueza marina española.

Tras 5 años de trabajo, el estudio de las 10 zonas incluidas en INDEMARES ha concluido, a fecha de hoy, con la propuesta como LIC de 3,1 millones de hectáreas (a falta de la propuesta de la zona Sur y Oriental de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote) y 4,9 millones de hectáreas como ZEPA. Una vez declaradas, la superficie marina protegida en España por la Red Natura 2000 alcanzará el 8%, acercándonos a la meta del 10% marcada por la Directiva Marco sobre Estrategia Marina de la UE y el Convenio de Biodiversidad para 2020.

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