Tag Archive for: biodiversity

Nature in Mind, international conference in Rome

Nature in Mind, an international conference promoted by the Italian Carabinieri brought together voices from all over the world and from every sector. From Pope Francis to the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, high-level interventions and networking. Wide presence of the WEEC network

Deep-sea Atlas of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research present the Deep-sea Atlas of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Funded by the MAVA Foundation,  the Atlas is the first collective work to compile the existing knowledge about the deepest waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, focusing on the “hidden” biodiversity that it hosts and main threats. The report covers five sub-regions: the Eastern Ionian, the North and South Aegean, the Libyan and the Levantine Sea.

This publication has contributions of more than 48 experts  and aims to become a useful tool to support spatial and natural resource planning efforts and to contribute to the sustainable development of blue economy.

By combining information from other reports, expeditions, data on deep-sea bycatch and experimental fishing catches, as well as underwater videos, this new publication provides a general overview of the morphological and geological features, as well as data on the existing biodiversity and habitats, in particular benthic and pelagic communities. Over 46 seamounts and banks ridges, as well as the major marine canyons have been identified and described in this document. These areas can play a key role as hotspots of biodiversity, greatly affecting the productivity of offshore ecosystems and the distribution of pelagic top predators. In addition, potential sites of Essential Fish Habitats for five deep-water commercially exploited species have been identified.

“Although human has been related to the marine environment since the first steps of its evolution, our knowledge on the deep sea is extremely limited, and although great strides have been made in the last decades, the information has been very fragmented and covering just small snapshots” explains Chryssi Mytilineou, researcher of the Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. “The Atlas is the first step in concentrating our knowledge and identifying areas in the Eastern Mediterranean that we may need to protect”.

This report presents a first assessment of our knowledge about the vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems and has allowed to identify signs of high benthic biodiversity and other potential sites of conservation interest, that could require the establishment of binding protection areas or other effective conservation management measures.

“In the Eastern Mediterranean, enforcing the existing network of Marine Protected Areas requires increasing their coherence, connectivity and representativeness”, explains María del Mar Otero, Marine Biodiversity and Blue Economy manager at IUCN-Med. “Further designation of MPAs and Fishery Restricted Areas will be key to protect these vulnerable biodiversity hotspots, together with other measures to protect migratory and endangered fauna at open sea”.

The report also provided specific recommendations of potential measures to address some of the more pressing human activities that are presently or potentially impacting the vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems of the Eastern Mediterranean. Among these pressures are the significant concentrations of macroplastics identified in deep-sea areas, particularly near highly urbanised gulfs and submarine canyons.

Access to the publication here

Nature in Mind: the value of biodiversity

“By Leaves We Live”
“This is a green world, with animals comparatively few and small, and all dependent on
the leaves. By leaves we live. Some people have strange ideas that they live by money.
They think energy is generated by the circulation of coins. Whereas the world is mainly a
vast leaf colony, growing on and forming a leafy soil, not a mere mineral mass: and we
live not by the jingling of our coins, but by the fullness of our harvests.”
(Sir Patrick Geddes, 1854-1932)

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention for Biological Diversity, signed on May 22 nd, 1992 in Rio de Janeiro,  Italian environmental police force, in collaboration with WEEC Network,  wants to celebrate, with a 2-day International Conference – Nature in mind – the value of biodiversity in the name of a greener and more sustainable future. 

International Day for Biological Diversity is the occasion to reflect on our responsibilities towards the environment and to consider the possibility of creating a new culture of nature.
The scientific comprehension of natural processes and the new awareness about the importance of the compliance of our behaviours with the law are two equally important and strictly integrated elements which aim at the conservation of nature.

Environmental education thus becomes education to environmental “legality”: a set of knowledge that becomes “culture”, environmental culture, that has to represent the fundamental part of the most deeply rooted education of citizenship, necessary to build a better future for the next generations.

The Conference Nature in Mind, which will be held in a mixed form (in person and remotely), will address various topics thanks to the interventions of distinguished Italian and international speakers
following the ideal path of seven Sessions:

  1. Opening Session
  2. One Health – Nature and Well-being
  3. At the Nature School
  4. Education and Nature
  5. School, city, territory
  6. Education, infosphere, mass culture and Nature
  7. Voices from the world

For the registration, have a look here.


Mediterranean Solutions at IUCN Congress

Under the leadership of the MAVA foundation, the organisations ACCOBAMS, Conservatoire du Littoral, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, MedPAN, MedWet, The MedFund, Tour du Valat, UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC, UNEP/MAP-Plan Bleu and WWF Mediterranean gather at the IUCN Congress to present the current challenges, accomplishments, new initiatives and collaborative work which are taking place in the Mediterranean region.

Each of these organisations harnesses different skills, operational structures and approaches. However, they all share the same goal: to kickstart a nature-based recovery across the Mediterranean, and get on course for a sustainable, equitable future that balances economic growth and the health of the natural world.

Two seminal reports published in 2020, The State of the Environment and Development (SoED) report, and the First Mediterranean Assessment Report (MAR 1) on climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean basin, shed light on the impacts of the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution on the Mediterranean.

During the 6 days, the sessions at the Mediterranean stand explore solutions to the key environmental issues in the region, including Nature-based solutions, inclusive processes to support inclusivity and effective and equitable governance, as well as an analysis of the current funding landscape.

This is the first hybrid IUCN Congress in-person and virtual environmental event since the pandemic began, the Mediterranean stand will provide streaming service for most of the live events scheduled by this innovative collaboration.


For further details read here

or IUCN World Conservation Congress website

Download the brochure here

For further enquiries, please contact Arantxa Cendoya at arantxa.cendoya@iucn.org

MedArtSal, sustainable management of artisanal salinas in the Mediterranean

Ready, set, go! MedArtSal kick is a project to promote sustainable management of artisanal salinas in the Mediterranean. The eight partners of the project MedArtSal – sustainable management model for Mediterranean Artisanal Salinas are gathering in Rome, on 18 January, for the kick off meeting of this initiative funded by the European Programme ENI CBC MED 2014-2020 with a total budget of € 3.2 million and an EU contribution of € 2.9 million (90%).
Artisanal salinas across the Mediterranean are today facing many pressures due to profound socio- economic changes that have affected productive activities. The MedArtSal project that is being launched in Rome, aims to promote the multifunctional use of the artisanal salinas to diversify socioeconomic activity generating revenues in terms of good quality salt production, but also by obtaining other products that can be commercialized, or by exploring their potential for tourism, while respecting the natural values of the sites. The project will address common challenges for artisanal salinas in four Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, Lebanon and Tunisia), with 10 pilot actions for the development of new products/services in selected salinas and 2 demonstration projects on the diversification of salinas products (i.e. food and cosmetics) and services (i.e. HO.RE.CA) carried out in La Esperanza, Cádiz (Spain) and Sidi Al-Hani (Tunisia).
«Investing in artisanal salinas means preserving our cultural heritage and landscape, local development and biodiversity. The final aim is to develop a sustainable and adaptable management model fostering the territorial valorisation of artisanal salinas in the Mediterranean region» says Gaetano Zarlenga, General Manager at University Consortium for Industrial and Managerial Economics, (CUEIM), Italy. The main beneficiaries of this project will be artisanal salinas and salt producers, small and medium enterprises around these sites and local communities from the Mediterranean region.
The project has a duration of 3 years and is led by CUEIM – University Consortium for Industrial and Managerial Economics (Italy) and involves the following partners: Association for the Development of Rural Capacities (Lebanon), Fair Trade Lebanon (Lebanon), IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (Spain), Mediterranean Sea and Coast Foundation (Italy), Saida Society (Tunisia), University of Cádiz (Spain), and Tuniso-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Tunisia).
Lourdes Lázaro, IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (Lourdes.lazaro@iucn.org)