What is the MPA-Engage project doing in the Mediterranean?

The MPA-Engage project, led by the Institut de Ciències del Mar (Institute of Marine Sciences – ICM) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), was financed by the Interreg MED programme with a budget of around 3 million euros. 

It took place over a period of 32 months (from November 2019 to June 2022) and its main objective was to place the marine protected areas of the Mediterranean at the forefront of adaptation to climate change. With a participatory approach, the MPA-Engage monitors the impacts of climate change in a harmonised manner, prepares vulnerability assessments and develops action plans for adaptation to climate change in 7 marine protected areas located in 6 Mediterranean countries: Albania, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy and Spain (Catalonia). One of the key factors of this project is that it has achieved, for the first time, the commitment of citizen scientists (non-professional divers) and traditional fishermen.

Main lines of action of the MPA-Engage project:

MONITORING PROTOCOLS:
The MPA-Engage project provides support to Mediterranean MPAs to monitor the impacts of climate change. There are a series of protocols for their effective implementation in each MPA in the Mediterranean with the support of an extensive network of scientists. You can access our control protocols here
VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT
The MPA-Engage project helps Mediterranean MPAs to assess their ecological and social vulnerability to climate change.
CITIZEN SCIENCE
The MPA Engage project involves civil society in monitoring the status of marine environments. The partnership with DAN Europe and a consolidated collaboration with PADI, SeaWatchers, and Reef Check Italy constitutes the best asset to engage recreational divers. Why are divers so important? They help us to be informed on climate change impacts such as tropical invaders, mortality outbreaks and changes in species abundance and distribution.
CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION PLANS
As a final result of the MPA-Engage project a plan containing measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change was drawn up for each of the marine areas under study.