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Una firma per il futuro delle Aree Marine Protette Mediterranee (2)

The second local TuneUp conference was held on Tuesday 29th of June. For over a year, the European project has been committed to involving the community of the town of Cabras in a path that aims at building a sustainable future for the Protected Marine Area of the Sinis Peninsula-Mal di Ventre Island, the coastal marine quadrant of the Gulf of Oristano, an area of priceless environmental value. The conference took place at the Multipurpose Center in via Tharros, and ended with the signing of the Document of Intent by Andrea Abis, Mayor of Cabras and President of the MPA, and by Giuseppe Sanna, president of the Canras Youth Council. Massimo Marras, director of the MPA, and Giancarlo Gusmaroli, environmental governance expert who oversaw the project together with the team of the MEDSEA Foundation, leader of TuneUp in Sardinia, also took part.

The Document of Intent signed by the Mayor Abis and the president of the Youth Council contains the motivations, objectives and organizational guidelines that lay the foundations for the definition of a "Marine Protected Area Contract", a voluntary participatory governance tool based on the experience of the River Contracts tested in the previous WetNet project (co-financed under the European Interreg Med 2014-2020 program) and envisaged at the national regulatory level for the integrated management of water bodies (Article 68bis of the Consolidated Environmental Law).

TuneUp is co-financed by the Transnational Cooperation Program, which involves 12 partners from 7 countries (Spain, France, Slovenia, Albania, Montenegro, Greece and Italy). The project, which began at the end of 2019 and sees as a deadline the 2022, comes from the need to improve the conservation status of biodiversity in the context of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The approach proposed by TuneUp involves local communities and institutions in developing action programs necessary to the integrated management of MPAs, which take into consideration the social and economic needs of the territories. Protagonists, themes and solutions, held together through a participatory decision-making process, will contribute to define the structure and substance of the Marine Protected Area Contract, a formal agreement from which the various adhering subjects will be called upon to give life to a co-responsible management of the areas. The TuneUp project operates in ten Mediterranean marine protected areas. These will become the laboratories of a coordinated and synergistic management that will represent a model for the entire Mediterranean basin.

The MEDSEA Foundation, one of the 12 institutions involved in the project, has identified the Marine Protected Area of the Sinis Peninsula and the Mal di Ventre island and the Municipality of Cabras as local partners for the implementation of the TuneUp activities. Both are already collaborating with MEDSEA within the framework of Maristanis, the project focused on the protection and sustainable development of the wetlands of the Gulf of Oristano which last February, with the signing of the "Wetlands and Coastal Contract", experienced an important moment of its path. Ten municipalities framed by the 6 Ramsar Zones have decided to join in the integrated management of these extremely important natural areas.

The Marine Protected Area and the Municipality of Cabras have been the ideal partners for the translation of the Contract to the marine context. During the preliminary meetings, the possibility emerged of experimenting the tool implementation with the Cabras Youth Council. The MEDSEA experts organized and conducted three "territorial laboratories" during which were analyzed values, problems and management objectives that gave shape to the Document of Intent. The formalization of this act capitalizes on the ideas and perspectives animated by the energy of the younger generations, custodians and vanguards of the idea of an organic relationship between economic and environmental issues.

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