The Municipality of Ugento Hosts Thematic Workshop on Improving Surveillance and Enforcement of Natura 2000 Marine Protected Areas in Italy

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Improving surveillance and enforcement of marine and coastal protected areas is crucial for preserving biodiversity and protecting marine ecosystems. Through the Interreg Italy-Croatia EFFICIENTN2K cross-border project, our aim is to enhance the effectiveness of protecting and managing these areas, particularly within the Natura 2000 network, through collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the implementation of innovative solutions.

Workshop on improving surveillance and management of marine protected areas

The Municipality of Ugento, a partner in the EFFICIENTN2K project, hosted a thematic workshop on improving surveillance and management of marine protected areas within the Natura 2000 network. This workshop was preceded by a detailed analysis of the pressures and capacities of institutions responsible for protected areas in both Croatia and Italy. In Italy, as in Croatia, there are various entities responsible for the protection of natural and environmental resources. Often, environmental protection is not their only goal, and in many cases, their areas of action overlap. Therefore, it was important to organize a workshop attended by all entities involved in the management of parks in the Puglia region.

The workshop, held on May 21, 2024, began with institutional greetings from the Mayor of Ugento, Salvatore Chiga, and featured the participation of distinguished institutional representatives and key stakeholders, including the directors of selected pilot areas in Puglia. As representatives of these areas, their contributions were essential in identifying the actions needed to ensure better conservation of the marine and coastal environment.

Source: Parco Naturale Regionale “Litorale di Ugento”

Working groups and recommendations for improving the management of marine protected areas

Following the introductory presentations, the workshop was divided into three working groups, each dedicated to one of the main threats affecting our marine and coastal protected areas: illegal fishing, surface water pollution, and fires. The goal of these groups was to develop further insights and recommendations on possible measures to be implemented to improve the protection and management of marine protected areas in the Adriatic. The workshop concluded with a summary discussion aimed at compiling all the proposed practical solutions into a final declaration to be adopted by the institutions and stakeholders directly involved in the management and protection of the marine environment.

Source: Parco Naturale Regionale “Litorale di Ugento”

The Municipality of Ugento took this opportunity to once again express its pride in being part of the EFFICIENTN2K project, reaffirming its commitment to the sustainable and effective management of the marine areas in the Natura 2000 network.

The EFFICIENTN2K project is financed under the Interreg Italy-Croatia cross-border cooperation program (Priority 5 – Integrated Management for Stronger Cooperation). Project partners include the Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce as the lead partner and the Municipality of Ugento.

The EFFICIENTN2K project is „co-financed by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs. The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the project partners and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.

Cover photo source: Parco Naturale Regionale “Litorale di Ugento”

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