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Towards a transatlantic partnership of MPAs

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Last February, the European Union launched a project aiming at promoting partnership among managers of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the Atlantic Basin.

With the aim to improve marine conservation through better management of MPAs, the project was conceived as part of an EU initiative to improve transatlantic cooperation between South America and Africa as well as Europe and North America, as a basis for building peace, security and stability in Europe and worldwide.

The two-year project has been collecting data about MPAs in the Atlantic Basin for the preparation of a scoping study. This sets out to describe the Atlantic marine environment and the situation of MPAs within the scope of the project (excluding areas beyond national jurisdiction). It identifies the biogeographic features of the basin, principal threats to marine and coastal conservation, and examples of good practice.

At a project workshop held in Brussels in November, participants from the four Atlantic rim continents discussed MPA managers’ needs, challenges, priorities and opportunities. The project is now moving into its second phase: the preparation and management of three twinning projects designed to share good practice and enhance MPA management, financial sustainability, governance and networking, with partners drawn from MPAs and MPA networks around the Atlantic.

The project team is led by marine conservation expert and president of the Mediterranean Network of Marine Protected Areas Puri Canals, and managed by B&S Europe, TYPSA and AGRER.

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