MedCities, as partner of the Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community (MBPC), was recently engaged in two MBPC related events to stress the need to engage local authorities and their networks into transboundary efforts to preserve and enhance Mediterranean coastal and marine environments.

During 31st May and 1st of June our member city, Dubrovnik, hosted aMBPC International workshop on “Transboundary governance in the South Adriatic Ionian Straight Ecologically or Biologically Significant Area (SAIS-EBSA) and contiguous regions: from the identification of an area to biodiversity conservation”. This workshop is the result of previous work and would be the first official event of the SAIS-EBSA (South Adriatic Ionian Straight Ecologically or Biologically Significant Area) and continuous regions Conservation Community (SECC) that will address two main topics:

1) How to prioritise conservation policy in the region fostering a multilevel governance approach; 2) How to mainstream conservation for positive coexistence between the economic sectors and biodiversity utilising initiatives as the EUSAIR work-plan.

Ms. Jelka Tepsic; Deputy Mayor of Dubrovnik,(MedCities member) inaugurated the event poiting out the importance for Dubrovnik to work in its sustainable development strategy taking into account their marine coastline and the protection of their coast. Also, she underlined the projects done so far with MedCities.

Jelka Tepsic, Deputy mayor Dubrovnik

MedCities actively engaged in the discussion on how to foster the role and interaction of cities and networks in transboundary governance as the local authorities are the ones having to implement concrete actions. Also, the association highlighted the actions that the Mediterranean network of marine protected areas – MedPAN– and MedCities are planning to bring the networks closer to address those challenges, especially through the ENI CBC MED ENESERES project. Networks are very much needed to represent the needs and interests of local authorities in transboundary agreements.

Right after, on 16th June, MedCities reinforced this message at the joint final event from the projects MPA NETOWRKS and MPA ENGAGEWorking for resilient MPA working together” the purpose of which was to present and exchange the results and lessons learned from the two projects, to share solutions and identify priorities and ways forward in terms of capitalisation, replication and funding.  Also, the goal was to discuss the outcomes and key recommendations of these 2 European projects that targeted key thematics for MPAs: management effectiveness, small-scale fisheries management, mobile species conservation, sustainable financing, and climate change adaptation. The event had a hybrid format and had different parts divided into Palma and Barcelona (both, MedCities members).

MedCities Secretary General, Mr. Josep Canals, participated in the session in Barcelona to give support to those projects and to help spread their final recommendations and policy papers in order for decision-makers to have them into account before taking actions to face the effects of the climate change in the Mediterranean.

Mr. Canals: “We’re part of a network of networks, the Mediterranean Cooperation Alliance and we take part of the Oceans Cities Network. We work for real transboundary actions and political recommendations to be applied in the Mediterranean region« . At the second round table (‘Sustainably financed MPA and strengthened networks and cooperation’), Mr. Canals highlighted that human engagement is necessary to achieve a real climate change response.

MedCities strongly believes in the need to embrace ecosystem-based management practices in urban sustainable development and in this context, it is advancing on getting different networks together”.

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