Previous Next

The first General Assembly kicked off in Lecce: for a more resilient MPAs network

The first General Assembly of the "Blue 4 All" project took place in Lecce from January 23 to 26, 2024. The event, hosted by the CMCC Climate - Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, highlighted the importance of collaboration to improve the management and protection of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) through collaboration and co-creation among various European stakeholders. 

With 25 sites involved from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean and the North-East Atlantic, including 12 information sites and 13 Living Labs, the project encompasses a wide range of MPAs, from small coastal areas to large protection networks that include deep-sea and offshore habitats. This diversity provides a broad perspective on the specific challenges of MPAs and existing or exploratory solution strategies. The goal is to assess current challenges, co-develop new solutions, and validate a model platform for effective shared management of MPAs, considering the different geographical and governance conditions. 

After the welcome by coordinator Steven Degraer and CMCC, the first day on January 23 focused on reviewing the project's progress and future needs, with a session on the state of BLUE 4 ALL also useful for the Advisory Board members present, including Ana Costa and Tundy Agardy. 

On January 24, attention shifted to the development of the Blueprint Platform, with interactive sessions on various tools and challenges, led by the leaders of WP2 and WP3. Work was also done on the format and design of the platform. 

On Thursday 25, participants collaborated in writing and discussed the legacy of BLUE 4 ALL and the mission of the Ocean's Blue Parks community, under the guidance of WP6 and WP7 leaders. A highlight of the event was the guided tour of the Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area and WWF natural reserve, located in Carovigno, Brindisi. This experience allowed delegates to closely observe the marine turtle recovery centre and explore the valuable Ramsar wetlands of the reserve, culminating with a visit to the historic Torre Guaceto. 

The last day of the event offered participants the opportunity to visit the CMCC supercomputing centre in Lecce, highlighting the importance of advanced technologies and data analysis in climate research and sustainable management of MPAs. With over 70 PetaBytes of storage capacity, the Lecce data centre represents a benchmark in the European landscape of climate change research. 

The "Blue4All" project is now ready to enter its most operational phase, with the activation of stakeholder groups in the living labs. MEDSEA will work with the team of the "Capo Carbonara" Marine Protected Area in Sardinia. 


Latest news