The Declaration represents the adoption of a holistic, integrative, ecosystem-based and cross-cutting approach to the conservation and management of the coastal and marine environment and to support mechanisms, tools and collaborative actions.  

The city of Malaga welcomed, 14-16 October 2019, an international three-days event on Biodiversity protection and management, gathering around 100 Mediterranean representatives to debate on effective collaboration mechanisms for more integrated management of our natural resources.

Co-funded by the EU Programme Interreg Med , led by the European Topic Centre of the University of Malaga and participated by MedCities among other partners, the PANACeA project  has been acknowledged by international institutions as an interdisciplinary collaborative platform, linking research, practice and policy at the Mediterranean scale to tackle pressing issues such as climate change, marine pollution and biodiversity loss.

On 14 October, at the Malaga City Council, the opening ceremony of the event gathered the main European institutional and political actors who support the biodiversity protection and conservation to sign the “Ecosystem-based approaches for Biodiversity protection and management” Declaration.

The Declaration represents the adoption of a holistic, integrative, ecosystem-based and cross-cutting approach to the conservation and management of the coastal and marine environment and to support mechanisms, tools and collaborative actions. MedCities and representatives of the member cities Marseille and Malaga, adhered to the manifesto together with a large number of institutions from different fields. The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) adhered soon later to the Declaration.  It further counts with the signature of support by the Federation of Andalusian Municipalities and Provinces (FAMP) and organisations such as MedPAN and regional activity centers of UNEP MAP.

On 15 October, the OMAU hosted a full day of interactive debates and workshops, culminating on 16 October with discussion sessions focusing on existing policy measures and the need for fundamental changes in a coordinated manner to halt biodiversity loss at all levels.

The conclusions included a general consensus that nature conservation must be operational and involve all sectors of society. In addition to ensuring better and more effective management of marine protected areas, authorities at various levels should facilitate collaboration with research, the private sector and legislation at all levels, and encourage better coordination especially in areas that are ecologically key to ecosystem functionality, and regardless of administrative boundaries: an ecosystem-based management approach

The Declaration will continue to be disseminated online to the public, private companies, public institutions, universities, research centers and NGOs, to help understand the value of biodiversity that underpins the Mediterranean and the need for collaboration by all, both at institutional and individual level, to achieve better protection of biodiversity in the Mediterranean.


After a three-year development, the Med Biodiversity Protection Community is now fully running, gathering more than 140 organisations, from private and public sectors around the Mediterranean.

The PANACeA project team would like to warmly thank all participants from Modular projects, as well as all supporters from external institutions and other Med Communities who contributed to make the Biodiversity Protection community a successful story.

The next phase has just started, the steering committee of the Biodiversity Protection Community project which will run until June 2022 took place in Marseille last 12th December.

MedCities will lead the Communication component in this new phase, which will strongly focus on the transfer of results and tools generated by the Community and in the mainstreaming joint messages and recommendations into the post 2020 agendas. We will also continue enhancing the Biodiversity Protection Knowledge Platform. It is further foreseen to strengthen links with other Mediterranean thematic communities, especially those dealing with Sustainable Tourism and Blue Growth. In this terms we are pleased to announce that Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism Communities will run a joint thematic session at the upcoming IUCN Global Forum, hosted by the city of Marseille next June. We will continue joining forces with key actors as EU, UfM, UNEP MAP and its Regional Activity Centres, Mediterranean Governments and local authorities to foster those transformative changes needed to halt biodiversity lost and protect coastal and marine ecosystems and the livelihoods they support.