The MedPAN South Project (2008-2012) aims to improve the management efficiency of existing MPAs in the south and east of the Mediterranean and to promote the creation of new ones. Engaging 11 non European countries the project is led by WWf Mediterranean and gathers more than 20 partners.
Through a combination of initiatives at the regional and national level, the Project addressed several shortfalls that prevented MPAs from becoming operational.
At the regional level, the Project delivered on building the capacity of MPA practitioners, in strengthening the network of MPAs in the region and creating troubleshooting mechanisms that MPAs can refer to when in need of support.
In addition, the Project specifically engaged 5 countries (Algeria, Croatia, Libya, Tunisia, and Turkey) to ensure that their MPAs were transformed from a dormant state into an operational state, with trained and equipped staff, standardised management plans, scientifically sound monitoring, and approved zoning plans.
However, the real strength of the WWF approach through the MedPAN South Project was the adoption of a participatory approach, where stakeholder engagement in MPA ‘business' was key to securing buy-in from local communities and stakeholders (including fishermen), endorsement from national and local governments, and ownership of the MPA. In parallel, thanks to the collaboration and exchanges built during the entire process, the MedPAN South Project supported and strengthened MedPAN, the network of MPAs in the Mediterranean.