Coming Together to Create a Stronger Mediterranean PartnershipJanuary 10, 2022
Blog by M6 partnership – AMNC, Alliance for Mediterranean Nature and Culture
The Alliance for Mediterranean Culture and Nature (AMNC) continues to grow by drawing on our experiences as the M6 partnership, a new effective partnership for conserving the cultural landscapes of the Mediterranean
This coming together was reflected beautifully in our long-awaited, in-person meet-up at the end of November 2021. The AMNC partners gathered in the beautiful cultural landscapes of the Camargue in France, a biosphere reserve and natural park, home to a large diversity of animal and plant species.
Hosted by local partner Tour du Valat and facilitated by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, we organized a three-day capacity building workshop for members of the Alliance who were interested in improving their understanding of climate change mitigation and adaptation, nature-based solutions and CO2 & soil practices. During interactive workshops, we learnt more about developing nature-based climate change action plans, setting methodologies to measure the impact of climate change and establishing a baseline for monitoring climate change and biodiversity in our cultural landscapes. Besides theoretical inputs, we also had the opportunity to hear more practical examples from both guest lecturers and the AMNC partners.
To illustrate, Fernando Bautista of AlVelAl shared a list of practical ideas to be implemented in the field, such as regenerative livestock farming and keyline systems to increase the moisture content of agricultural land. In his presentation, Carlos Astrain of Gestión Ambiental de Navarra elaborated upon “result-based agri-environment payment schemes” that allow for the remuneration of farmers on the basis of the quality of biodiversity on their farmed lands. In her lecture on CO2 practices, Rosa Maria Poch Claret of Universitat de Lleida and Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils provided us with a presentation on the concept of “re-carbonising global soils”, which was followed by a working group exercise on soil carbon monitoring. All this valuable knowledge was solidified with partners’ presentations on how they approach the above-mentioned issues throughout their sites.
Due to Covid-19, we hadn’t been able to organize any in-person events as an Alliance so it was a great joy to catch up and engage with each other in real life after nearly two years.
Some members of AMNC shared their thoughts on their experiences:
“I truly enjoyed reconnecting with the partners and exchanging about our experiences since the beginning of Covid. I learned a lot about nature-based solutions, and more specifically how to measure and calculate the amount of carbon stored in the soil. I will be able to use the new knowledge I acquired during this event for our projects in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco.” – Rachid, AMNC member
“It is very hard to find time for study during our day to day, since we are always busy organizing activities and with deadlines. It is essential that workers from NGOs have this type of capacity building from time to time. Book a couple of days to dive deep into a certain topic and share it with peers from other partner organizations. A really good deal!” – Jara, AMNC member
Offering such capacity building opportunities for AMNC partners is an important part of our work as it promotes dialogue, discussion and peer-to-peer learning between members.
After the workshops, we went on an exciting field trip to the estate of Petit Saint-Jean, an agri-environmental project managed by Tour du Valat. We then visited the Camargue natural reserve for some fun bird watching, during which we spotted a variety of migratory birds including pink flamingos. We always enjoy organizing meetings and workshops at partners’ project sites as it allows us to better understand partners’ work in practice and to build stronger connections.
On the final two days of our gathering, we held a Steering Committee Meeting which was partially online to include members who couldn’t join us in person. We shared updates from projects at all pilot sites across Lemnos, Lebanon, Morocco, Menorca, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey. We discussed our work plan for 2022, our joint strategies and upcoming collective efforts in scaling-up our common approach beyond 2022 , amongst other elements. We also collectively evaluated our progress against projects as part of the MAVA Foundation’s Outcome Action Plan on Mediterranean Cultural Landscapes.
We look forward to strengthening this partnership further and to our next gathering!