Co-creating networks of MPAs to address marine conservation and restoration in Europe

Sustainable Development Goals:


One of the main challenges in marine conservation is the social acceptability of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The traditional top-down approach to MPAs often results in limited interaction with stakeholders until after the MPA has been designated and the conservation objectives have been defined. This can lead to possible failures to achieve these goals. 

BLUE4ALL is a groundbreaking project (HORIZON Europe Ocean Mission) that aims to address the challenges faced in marine conservation and restoration in Europe by aligning a bottom-up approach - with adequate interaction and co-creation -  along with the top-down to regulatory expectations as defined by the EU Biodiversity Strategy and national initiatives.   

The project will bring together and work in close interaction with stakeholders from 25 information sites and Living Labs as real world examples of existing MPAs and networks of MPAs located in the Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, and North-East Atlantic regions. With the goal to develop tools for preserving and restoring the marine environment in a socially sustainable and acceptable way: these tools will be tested in Living Labs, involving co-creation with stakeholders, and ensuring that conservation and restoration objectives are met.  BLUE4ALL will ultimately lead to a co-created and tested (proof of concept) Blueprint Platform for creating effective, efficient and resilient MPAs and networks of MPAs, as a user-friendly platform for MPA managers and authorities to use in their work. 


The activities 

In addition to project management and communication and dissemination activities, the main activities of Blue4All will concern: 

  • Science-based tools for socio-economic and governance solutions
  • Scientific instruments for ecological and environmental solutions
  • Learning and experimenting in the Living Labs
  • Blue4All Blueprint platform 



Expected results 

Blue4All will develop an interactive Blueprint platform, i.e. a guide to effective, efficient and resilient MPA networks, generically applicable to MPAs at European level but also beyond the EU, aiming to support EU leadership in international efforts for the fight against marine biodiversity. 

In the Blue4all project, MEDSEA is the coordinator of the activities in the Capo Carbonara Marine Protected Area Living Lab (Villasimius, Sardinia) and supports various tasks, from the analysis of the MPA process at national and Mediterranean level to all the phases necessary to conserve and/or successfully restore biodiversity. 





Project Budget: € 8 018 806,25 (EU contribution € 8 018 806) 

Budget MEDSEA:  € 551 250,00 € 

Programme: HORIZON Europe Ocean Mission 

Duration: 1 Gennaio 2023 - 31 Dicembre 2026 (48 months) 


Social media: Linkedin, Twitter 

Project coordinator: Francesca Frau  

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Photos © L. Ballesta / S. Corrias  AMP Capo Carbonara 


Activities, Biodiversity conservation, Climate Action, Coastal management