Is it our business to be concerned about the Marine Protected Areas?
No, it is our job to extend them as far as possible.
The target of “EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 – Bringing nature back into our lives” is to protect at least 30% of the sea in the EU, of which 10% under strict protection. We are taking actions towards this goal and following the results along the way. Unfortunately, the reality shows that only 13% percentage of sea is protected in the Mediterranean. But even worse, the Adriatic-Ionian region has the lowest proportion of protected seas of all regional seas in the Mediterranean region, t.i. only 7,33% is declared protected, 3,57% with actual protection, of which only 0.07% under strict protection (with strictly prohibited fishing).
What does the wording Marine Protected Area (MPA) mean? "Protected area" means "a geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives".
And why should we be concerned about this?
Because biodiversity loss is one of the key threats for humanity. Additionally it is very interconnected with climate change and pandemics.
In the past you may have come across the term "green and blue corridors in marine spatial planning" on our website. These are also related to the measures being taken in our macroregion in regard of this issue. Green and Blue Corridors are environmental spatial links of Green Infrastructure areas that maintain or improve biodiversity and/or the supply of ecosystem services. Their features are, among others, a development of safty and security regarding climate changes and environmental degradation.
The possibilities of other solutions and next steps:
Besides, the NATURA 2000 - Emerald Network of (marine) protected areas could be expanded not only in the Northern and Central Adriatic, but also in the Southern Adriatic (Channel of Otranto area), as well as within the Ionian Sea. EUSAIR Coastal States that are not members of the European Union (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro) may contribute to this goal through the enlargement of the EMERALD network (Bern Convention - Convention on the Conservation
of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats), by establishing additional marine protected areas or through the designation of new marine protected areas under their national legislation.
Taking into account that the Croatian waters surrounding the Bosnian waters in the Klek/Neum Bay have been already protected as NATURA 2000 sites, the plans within Bosnia and Herzegovina to protect also its waters in the Klek/Neum Bay, in close cooperation and coordination with neighbouring Croatia, seems to be of particular importance.
Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency of EUSAIR hosted EUSAIR Pillar Coordinators of TSG3 in Sarajevo. Over fourty participants were taking part at the Workshop on the Preparation of the Action Plan for Biodiversity and marine protection with special reference to the establishment of marine protected areas in the part of the Adriatic Sea belonging to BIH. The workshop was dedicated to the further enhancement and recognition of marine protected areas and spatial planning at sea in EUSAIR region with the emphasis on to the establishment of marine protected areas in the part of the Adriatic Sea belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina. To further elaborate on the possibilities of establishing the marine protected areas’s in the EUSAIR, the good practices and analysis already done in EUSAIR area were presented. Those paved the way to the preparation of the Action Plan for Biodiversity and marine protection of which goals were discussed at the workshop in order to obtain valuable feedback.
Take a look at some interesting facts in the presentations used at the workshop: