Regional cooperation for the transnational ecosystem sustainable development
|Call||1st Call for Project Proposals|
|Lead Partner||Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology & Aquaculture|
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research
Department of Fisheries and Marine Research
International Centre for Research on the Environment and the Economy - ICRE8
Management Agency of Karpathos and Saria
University of Cyprus, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Tirana
Mediterranean Institute of Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology
University of Salento, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies
Regional cooperation for the transnational ecosystem sustainable development (RECONNECT) project aims to develop strategies for sustainable management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Natura 2000 sites. The study areas are characterised by similar habitats in different countries, which are threatened by common pressures. Creating a transnational cooperative network to confront under a common approach the environmental threats of ecosystems with a high natural and cultural interest, is the overall goal of this project. The establishment of common practices and a joint regional strategy are the main challenges of RECONNECT.
The overall objective of the project is to promote efficient management of natural systems which will enhance the competence of local management authorities through the development of a multidisciplinary Decision Support System (DSS). The new transnational holistic approach which will be developed, will change the current protection strategies in the Balkan-Mediterranean area promoting more efficient and accurate management practices. The main outputs of the RECONNECT project will provide information concerning habitat attributes, as well as the essential biodiversity, socio-economic and cultural variables, which will be freely available as tools through a web-based platform.
These outputs will be beneficial for
(a) local, regional and national authorities by promoting the sustainability of marine ecosystems;
(b) management agencies by enhancing their management toolbox;
(c) non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by improving their activities through the suggested strategies; and
(d) citizens, as their involvement during the project will increase their environmental awareness.
The transnational approach that will be used during the project will combine ecological and genetic methodologies for the biodiversity assessment, as well as socio-economic aspects, under the umbrella of a common DSS promoting joint policies and practices. The protection and conservation of areas with high ecological and economical value aims to harmonize the socio-economic and legal framework between the participating countries, something which could not be achieved individually at a national level. The design of new tools such as the DSS and the Handbook of management practices will be developed through the combination of multidisciplinary methodologies targeting to evaluate ecosystem quality and to promote the sustainable conservation of these vulnerable and fragile ecosystems. During its implementation, RECONNECT project will address consistently EU horizontal principles such as sustainable development, equal opportunities and non-discrimination and equality between men and women.