Skip to content

He who hesitates is lost: Why conservation in the Mediterranean Sea is necessary and possible now

April 29, 2013
Although significant advancements on protecting marine biodiversity and ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea have been made, much remains to be done to achieve the targets set by the Convention for Biological Diversity (and the Barcelona Convention) and ratified by the 21 Mediterranean governments. Particularly, these targets require the design and implementation of an ecologically representative network of marine protected areas that covers 10% of the Mediterranean surface by 2020. Despite the many efforts to gather spatial information about threats to the Mediterranean and conservation planning initiatives that identify sensitive areas for conservation, we are far from achieving this target. In this paper, we briefly review existing and proposed conservation initiatives at various scales throughout the Mediterranean to recognise those that have political endorsement and those that serve more as lobbying tools. We then propose a model process that can be applied to advance marine spatial planning within the eleven ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) through a multi-step process designed for moving conservation forward in this particularly complex region. The proposed process combines tenets of professional urban/regional planning and systematic conservation planning. As shown with two specific examples, despite some conventional wisdom, there is enough information on the Mediterranean Sea to move forward with ecosystem-based marine spatial management for conservation purposes using the EBSAs as a starting point – and the time is right to do so.

Portman M E, Notarbartolo-di-Sciara G, Agardy T, Katsanevakis S, Possingham H P, Di-Carlo J, 2013, He who hesitates is lost: Why conservation in the Mediterranean Sea is necessary and possible now, Marine Policy, 42, 270–279, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2013.03.004. Article.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: