When a guy ran after me asking whether salting or canning was the best way to preserve fish at the end of a two-hour village meeting on ‘fish conservation’ in Madagascar, I learnt the importance of language. A month later, we put on a musical with local kids about sharks, turtles and whales to get the breakthrough. Always start where your audience is!
Growing up near Geneva, Chloë remembers being fascinated by the sea when, after landlocked hours in a car to Barcelona, her family took the ferry to holiday in the Balearics. And after spells researching marine mammals in Canada and campaigning on toxics with WWF, she moved to Madagascar to run a marine research station on the conservation frontline, laying the foundations for her future role with MedPAN.
MedPAN’s mission is to support an ecologically representative network of MPAs in the Mediterranean. From habitat protection and climate resilience to stronger local livelihoods and fishery restoration, MPAs bring many benefits. Achieving widespread support for their creation, however, can be complex and time-consuming. To ensure its members, who manage around 110 MPAs in 19 countries, are as well-equipped for success as possible, MedPAN works with partners like UN Environment – MAP – SPA/RAC, WWF, IUCN, ACCOBAMS and GFCM to analyse, collate and disseminate learning and knowledge across the region.
MedPAN plays a unique convening and connecting role. We don’t have a formal mandate but our collective expertise and reach mean everyone from the Commission to fishermen respect us. We’ve built trust by being totally transparent – our knowledge is open access.
Marine health check
MedPAN’s quadrennial Status of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean typifies the organisation’s value add at the interface between management, science and policy. Presenting a synopsis of MPA coverage and a progress report against international marine conservation objectives, it offers a marine health check with recommendations that is a vital resource for policymakers, fishers and conservationists alike.
Most of the Mediterranean’s 1,231 MPAs aren’t properly managed. There’s a massive human and financial capacity gap. And we need a truly integrated management approach that reconciles conservation, trawling, tourism, coastal development, and oil and gas.
Protecting sea turtle nesting sites
Chloë and MedPAN perform a unique networking and knowledge-sharing function in the Mediterranean that is at the heart of our partners’ work for stronger MPA management, as well as reduced turtle mortality and better nesting site protection across the region. Read more about MAVA’s action plan on this subject.