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11/22: Building capacities for the Mediterranean MPA socio-economic sustainability


A training course was organised by UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC in Gokova (Türkiye), on 13-18 Nov. 2022, for participants from southern Mediterranean countries to help them build an integrated and sustainable management model for their MPAs.




This training course is part of a regional capacity building programme that is being carried out by SPA/RAC in the framework of the EU-funded project entitled “Towards achieving the Good Environmental Status of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast through an Ecologically Representative and Efficiently Managed and Monitored Network of Marine Protected Areas” (IMAP-MPA project).

This programme is targeting MPA managers and other stakeholders involved in the development and/or the establishment of MPAs coming from Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, while taking into consideration gender-equity aspects in the programme designing and set up.

The overall objective of the programme is to introduce participants to a process that can be used to build an integrated and sustainable model to improve the status of their MPA.

This region-wide capacity building programme is being delivered mainly through three interconnected actions, described below. Two of these actions have already been completed, the second being the training in Gokova.

  • Training course on MPA effective management and sustainable financing: the event was organised from 7 to 10 February 2022, by visio-conference, and benefited 24 participants coming from 6 Mediterranean countries. The aim of this course was to enhance the knowledge on MPA management effectiveness and sustainable financing. It involved a theoretical part delivered by a professional team of 4 women trainers, then the participants were divided into several small groups to allow brainstorming, experience sharing and better working on exercises in a collaborative manner, using collaborative online tools. The training was preceded by a one-day workshop for Mentors (a Mentor is one designated person from each national delegation, with high knowledge of the MPA situation in their country) to help them improve their communication, coaching and leadership skills.
  • Training course on socio-economic sustainability of MPAs: the training was organized from 14 to 18 November 2022, in Gokova, Türkiye, with the support of the Mediterranean Conservation Society (AKD). It gathered 22 participants to gain knowledge on the socio-economic sustainability of Mediterranean MPAs. All the participants indicated that “from now on, trainings should never be boring again”. The training content was prepared and delivered by a professional and creative team of trainers with more than 15 years of experience, namely Anne Walton, Coastal & Marine Natural Resource Management Consultant, Kate Hogg, Marine conservation Consultant, Sue Wells, Marine and coastal conservation consultant, Emna Ben Lamine, Marine scientist Consultant, and Patricia Puig, Marine scientist Consultant. This face-to-face training included a theoretical part (recorded for publication on the SPA/RAC YouTube channel), a practical part with a variety of exercises and groups work, and a field visit to the Gokova MPA. The training was also preceded by a workshop for Mentors, organized on 13 November 2022, whose roles are to support the participants during the training and in particular for the post-training activities.
  • Post-training implementation activities (to be implemented in the coming months):  these activities would provide an opportunity for the participants to the training courses to prepare and deliver a tailor-made project to be implemented in their respective countries/MPAs, based on the knowledge and skills gained during the training. These activities will be implemented under the guidance of the mentors and in close consultation with the national SPA/BD focal points, through “implementation agreements”.


Learn more about the IMAP/MPA project: