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23rd November, 2011

Monk seal habitat added to protected area network

Media Watch, European Commission Press Release, 21 November 2011

Natura 2000, the EU’s network of protected areas, has undergone a significant expansion. Nearly 18 800 square kilometres have been added, including a major addition of marine areas covering 17 000 square kilometres which will increase protection for many endangered marine species. The network now covers almost 18% of the EU’s landmass and more than 145 000 km² of its seas. The main countries involved in this latest expansion are the UK, France, Belgium, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, Lithuania and Italy. Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of Europe’s battle to halt biodiversity loss and safeguard ecosystem services. […]

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22nd August, 2011

MPA and monk seal conservation workshop in Martinique

— Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara

Within the framework of the Second International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas, which is being organised in Fort-de-France, Martinique, from 7-11 November 2011 by the French National MPA Agency, a workshop is being planned on the role of MPAs in the conservation of monk seals.

Building on the results of a previous meeting, which took place during the First international Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (Maui, March 2009), the aim of this workshop will be to further explore ways in which the MPA tool can be used to protect the two extant critically endangered representatives of Monachus which still survive in their respective Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Hawaiian habitats. Emphasis of this workshop will be to emphasize the differences of the challenges posed to conserving the two species, and on such basis to explore the pros and cons of MPA establishment, as opposed to the implementation of “conventional” conservation measures.

In order to make plans for the monk seal workshop and to allow a structuring of its programme, it would greatly help me to have an idea of who is likely to attend. If you intend participating to the ICMMPA in Martinique next November, and if you are interested in attending the monk seal workshop, I would appreciate it if you could kindly let me know. It would be also great to know if you have any direct experience in the field of monk seal MPAs and conservation (in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic or Hawaii) that you would be willing to share during the workshop.

Feedback will be particularly appreciated if sent to the email address below before the end of August, thank you.

Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara — giuseppe@disciara.net