Leading change for the Mediterranean Sea | WWF

Leading change for the Mediterranean Sea

Posted on
30 April 2014

WWF has identified the Mediterranean as a region in urgent need of conservation. To face the challenge, six Mediterranean and two International WWF offices joined forces on this global priority and created the Mediterranean Initiative.

Over the next four years, the WWF Mediterranean Initiative will develop solutions, build alliances, and invigorate societies and economies across the Mediterranean region to conserve marine ecosystems that provide a wealth of resources.

In April it was our pleasure to welcome Yolanda Kakabadse, WWF’s International President, to our fisheries co-management project on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona. A year ago these Catalan fishermen received the WWF Conservation merit Award for their innovative approach to co-management. They invited Yolanda Kakabadse and John Tanzer, Marine Programme Director at WWF International to visit them and hear more about their work. Their fishing management approach is special because WWF and other NGOs, fishermen, scientists and authorities work together to ensure fully sustainable fisheries. Decisions are made jointly on management plans, scientific studies, monitoring and appropriate action when needed.

“This is definitely a project we all need to replicate - in the Mediterranean and in other areas of the world. All players have embraced the challenge and have demonstrated that co-management is not just words” said Yolanda.

We asked Yolanda what she thinks about the region and its relevance concerning WWF’s vital global conservation goals.
“The Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful regions of this planet. And it's also a difficult challenge - the presence of so many countries and cultures forces all stakeholders to think ‘out of the box’. Political will and a long-term vision on the terms of national and local leaders is a must. This region, being relatively small and contained, is a perfect ecosystem to test new and creative management approaches.”

Yolanda also told us what she sees as a key challenge for biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean region.
“To overcome existing problems, local civil society, governments, academia and business sectors need to promote dialogue and agreement on a common agenda. Biodiversity conservation needs to be understood and incorporated as a development goal.
Europe and the planet have benefited from the cultural and ecological values of this region for many centuries. Sound management of its resources will be to everybody's advantage.”

More information

Chantal MENARD, Communications – cmenard@wwfmedpo.org – cell +34 646 75 10 38

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