The RESCOM project: “Strengthening the resilience of ecosystems in the Mediterranean” is planned to last 4 years and will start in the second half of 2023.
It aims to promote the conservation and sustainable management of coastal, marine and island territories as well as wetlands and forests and to contribute to the preservation of this exceptional biodiversity for the benefit of present and future communities.
It is implemented with the beneficiary countries, by the Mediterranean Biodiversity Consortium (MCB). This partnership work will provide common mechanisms and tools for capacity building, communication and intervention in the most vulnerable natural areas. The RESCOM project will thus be an opportunity to put forward a new collaborative approach, combining the networks and know-how of each member of the Consortium (technical expertise, accompaniment of the process …)
The French Fund for Global Environment (FFEM) and the MAVA Foundation for Nature are co-financiers of the project.
Natural ecosystems are degrading and disappearing at an alarming rate in the Mediterranean, subject to various pressures of anthropogenic origin, despite the efforts made at local, national, regional and international levels to conserve biodiversity. This situation is exacerbated by the effects of climate change, already particularly marked in the region, which significantly affect ecosystems and populations. This combined degradation of biodiversity and livelihoods in the Mediterranean demonstrates that these global change challenges (biodiversity extinction, climate change, human health and well-being) are intrinsically linked and must be addressed together.
This project, led by the Mediterranean Consortium for Biodiversity, brings together six organizations with recognized expertise in the Mediterranean basin (MedWet, the PIM initiative, the IAMF, Tour du Valat and IUCN-Med, the Conservatoire du Littoral) who signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2021.
In each beneficiary country, pilot sites have been defined:
- Pilot site in Morocco: The Khenifiss National Park (KNP) is located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, at the mouth of the Oued Aoudri, between the cities of Tan-Tan and Tarfaya. The KNP covers an area of 180,000 hectares (ha). With 212 species listed, the KNP is one of the most representative areas of Moroccan avifauna, with more than two thirds of the species observed in Morocco.
- Pilot site in Tunisia: The Oued Zen National Park, with an area of 6,700 ha, was officially created in 2010 and includes an arboretum and two nature reserves : the wetland of Dar Fatma (15.7 ha; RAMSAR zone since 2007) composed of 5 peat bogs. And the Nature Reserve of Aïn Zana (47 ha) with the rare species of afarès oak (Quercus afares. P), an endemic species of the North-West of Tunisia and the North-East of Algeria.
- Pilot site in Turkey: Patara Special Environmental Protection Area is a unique archaeological site of global significance and a protected natural site that includes coastal forest, wetlands, dunes, and an important nesting beach for the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta L.) Patara’s river and wetland systems have created the largest and most important dune ecosystem on the Turkish Mediterranean coast.
- Pilot site in Albania: The Divjaka-Karavasta National Park is best known for its birdlife. The site is home to about 260 bird species, of which more than 85 are listed in Annex 1 of the European Union’s Birds Directive. And 15 species are subject to special attention at the global level. The area is home to the only breeding colony of Dalmatian pelicans (Pelecanus crispus B.) in Albania, with about 85 breeding pairs.
- Pilot site in Montenegro: The Tivatska Solila Special Nature Reserve is part of the buffer zone of the natural and historical region of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. It is home to many species of flora and fauna: a salamander and 4 plants endemic to the Balkan Peninsula ; 16 endemic insects and 2 insects protected at the European level ; 18 vascular plants protected at the national level, 12 in the CITES ; 146 plants on the world red list ; one European or Mediterranean flora in the appendix I of the Bern Convention ; one species of mushroom is protected at the national level and is on the red list of endangered mushrooms in Europe.
The objective of the project is to strengthen the social and environmental resilience of vulnerable natural areas in the Mediterranean (sea, coasts, forests, small islands and wetlands) in order to respond to related social and economic challenges, through the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) and a more integrated and participatory approach. The project aims to restore and improve the ecological functioning and services provided by various ecosystems, supporting and involving local stakeholders and populations through awareness raising, training and technical/institutional support (to promote sustainable biodiversity management). This will be reflected in innovative arrangements to address these challenges through a more integrated approach to biodiversity conservation, both multi-partner and multi-biome, to contribute to a better cohabitation between ecosystems and populations.
The project is structured in four components:
COMPONENT 1 (CP1): Development and implementation of a regional capacity building program based on nature-based adaptation and resilience building solutions.
COMPONENT 2 (CP2): Establishment of mechanisms for the CMB to act at different levels (local, national, regional) to promote the ownership and implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NBS) in the Mediterranean.
COMPONENT 3 (CP3): Design and implementation of NBS in pilot territories in cooperation with national and local actors.
COMPONENT 4 (CP4): Coordination, management and sustainability of the project.