The Achievements of the project
RAC/SPA was responsible for the coordination of the MedPosidonia Project. On one hand it was the internal personnel of RAC/SPA and on the other hand international experts recruited by the latter who ensured a good implementation. The National Focal Points, institutional and scientific, of the four countries concerned played a key role in the execution of the project, which was carried out in a matter to support experience sharing and the reinforcement of the national capacities, in order to support the activities started at long term.
Activity 1: To carry out an inventory and a characterization of the Posidonia meadows:
This action related only to Libya for which very little information was available before the project as regards the presence and the distribution of seagrass meadows. Several field missions were organized to the selected sites: Island of Ghrara, sites in the area of Tripoli, Farwa and Ain Al-Ghazala. Thus the seagrass meadows of the sites were identified and characterized. A partial cartography of the seagrass meadows was carried out on several sites in the area of Tripoli and in the Ain Al-Ghazala Lagoon.
Activity 2: To map the selected seagrass meadows:
The national structures responsible for coastal development and management need to know the distribution of the seagrass meadows to be able to reduce as much as possible the impacts on the latter. This is why the cartography constituted the second axis of project activities.
Initially dialogues with the national authorities of the three countries involved in this activity (Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey) made it possible to identify the actions to be carried out and the sites to be mapped out. Thus a national training as regards cartography by satellite and aerial images processing was carried out in February 2009 in Algeria, including practical works in the Anse de Kouali (Wilaya of Tipaza) site. Furthermore, sectors of three sites were mapped: at Sidi Ali El Mekki (Tunisia), in the bay of Monastir (Tunisia) and in the bay of Yildizkoy on the Gökçeada Island (Turkey).
Activity 3: To reinforce the monitoring networks:
This activity allowed to set up or to reinforce the seagrass meadow monitoring systems in three countries (Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey). Resulting from preliminary contacts with the national authorities of the three countries, seven sites were selected for beaconing of the higher/lower limit of the seagrass meadows. In fact, the follow-up of the limits of the seagrass meadows produces important information on the general quality of the coastal waters and allows apprehending the impacts of certain human activities.
The beaconing was carried out in Tunisia at Sidi Al El Mekki, Kerkennah and Hergla and in the bay of Monastir and in Turkey at Mersin and in the bay of Yildizkoy. As regards the activities of the Project in Algeria, the only mission in the area of El Kala did not allow to set up the beaconing due to very bad weather conditions.
Activity 4: To communicate on the Posidonia ecosystem and the results of the Project:
The valorization and the communication of the results achieved within the framework of the Project were an important chapter of this project, which was declined according to three axes:
- Training and development of national and regional capacities,
- Communication and awareness raising on the MedPosidonia Project among the wider public,
- Dissemination and publication of the results of the Project among the scientific community.
Three principal training courses were organized during the project:
- Mediterranean Training on the cartography of seagrass meadows (15-21 June 2007 - Tabarka in Tunisia),
- Regional training session on the monitoring of Posidonia meadows (29 October-2 November 2007 - Rafraf in Tunisia),
- National training session on mapping techniques for seagrass meadows (16-19 February 2009 - Algiers in Algeria).
The communication on the interest and the approaches of the MedPosidonia Project took place on several occasions and within the framework of certain events and meetings, in particular during the signing ceremony of the convention between RAC/SPA and the Total Corporate Foundation (October 30th, 2006 in Tunis in Tunisia), the Third Mediterranean Symposium on marine vegetation (March 27th-29th, 2007 - Marseilles in France), the final project meeting (April the 23rd, 2009 - Tunis in Tunisia) and the Ninth Meeting of the National Focal Points for the Specially Protected Areas (June the 3rd, 2009 - Floriana in Malta).
Several communication supports were published as for example a series of five posters, as well as a booklet and a DVD on the results of the project. At national level a leaflet on the interest and importance of seagrass meadows was produced according to specificities of the countries participating in the project.
In August 2009 the Final Activities Report of the MedPosidonia Project was issued (in French).