Mediterranean Biodiversity Consortium
The Mediterranean Biodiversity Consortium was launched on March 12, 2021 by the MedWet Initiative, the Mediterranean Protected Areas Network (MedPan), the Mediterranean Small Islands Initiative (PIM), the Tour du Valat (TdV), the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and the International Association for Mediterranean Forests (AIFM), with the support of the Conservatoire du Littoral.
The Mediterranean basin is one of the 36 “hotspots” of global biodiversity, particularly remarkable for its high level of endemic species (28%). More than 25,000 species of vascular plants and more than 17,000 marine species can be found there.
However, this territory is subject to multiple pressures: overexploitation of resources, tourist pressure, increasing urbanization, pollution and climate change are all constraints that affect Mediterranean biodiversity. Thus, one in five vertebrate species is now threatened with extinction and 48% of wetland habitats have disappeared in less than 50 years.
Faced with these challenges, six environmental structures have decided to join forces to create the Mediterranean Biodiversity Consortium. Having complementary skills, their grouping allows a multibiome approach for more coherent and relevant environmental management projects, including Mediterranean forests but also wetlands, coasts, island areas and marine areas. This innovative multibiome approach facilitates the implementation of concrete actions with real impacts, involving the partner structures but also their respective networks.
Mediterranean Biodiversity Consortium aims to preserve and restore Mediterranean biodiversity, based on the implementation and valorization of Nature-based Solutions and by promoting the mobilization and support of local communities.
Within this framework, several targeted actions are planned:
- Implementation of Nature-based Solutions in pilot sites;
- Strengthening the skills of local actors by promoting the exchange and sharing of experience in a logic of learning and autonomy;
- Setting up a collaborative “Red Alert” system aiming to identify, thanks to a web mapping platform, development projects or practices that threaten natural sites in order to limit their impacts or even stop them;
- Creation of a “Think and do Tank” with the objective of working on concepts related to the conservation of biodiversity and to concretize them in order to give the keys to the Mediterranean actors to decline them in beneficial solutions with real impacts
The first project of the Consortium « RESCOM: Enhancing Ecosystem Resilience in the Mediterranean » is now under development. It will aim to increase the social and environmental resilience of vulnerable marine and coastal areas in the Mediterranean by improving the services provided by the different Mediterranean ecosystems, implementing Nature-based Solutions and supporting local actors at all scales. The project will put in place a rigorous and replicable working method based on the analysis of the vulnerability of ecosystems, integrating local stakeholders at all stages. This approach will improve the implementation of integrated management of natural areas as well as the creation and future good management of new protected areas.