The Association for the Sustainable Financing of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas – or M2PA for short – held a series of related events on Friday April 13th at Monaco Ocean Week with the participation of the CFA’s new Executive Director, David Meyers. The main goal of the M2PA association is to establish a Conservation Trust Fund to provide targeted financing for Mediterranean protected areas with an initial focus on projects in Morocco, Tunisia and Albania. The Mediterranean has over 1000 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) but is in need of increased investment in the creation of new MPAs and in improved management and sustainable financing for many existing reserves. It is hoped that the M2PA will succeed in becoming a strong advocate, source of financing, and fountain of knowledge for these important MPAs.
The first conference event was a series of panels and presentations on Conservation Trust Funds with an initial talk and session moderation by the CFA. Conservation Trust Fund experiences and best practices were shared by a range of CTFs and partners including BaCoMAB, PONT, MarFund, and RedLAC. Other partner organizations presenting included CI’s Global Conservation Fund, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), Agence Français de Développement (AFD), MAVA, MedPAN, and others. The session was followed by the signing of the FFEM grant agreement with the Prince Albert II Foundation for the M2PA project. The afternoon session was the launch of the GEF financed part of the project (with support of CI-GEF) and was followed by an evening session where 12 museums and aquariums showed their engagement in the project. The Monaco Oceanographic Institute pledged a percentage of their entrance fees for the aquarium to the M2PA.
More information on the workshops is available here.