MEPA obtained €64,000 from the European Union to participate in a network of agencies involved in designating and managing of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean. The fnds were obtained from the EU Interreg 3C programme
The Mediterranean Coastal and Marine Protected Areas Network (MEDPAN), led by the World Wildlife Fund of France (WWF France) was officially launched in 2005 with the aim of facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience amongst the managers of coastal and marine protected areas.
For MEPA, it provides a useful forum for experience-sharing with other Mediterranean countries and regions, where environmental and cultural issues are similar those found in Malta. Through the network, MEPA benefits from specific training on the designation, management, maintenance and monitoring of marine protected areas, as well as issues related to the fulfilment of particular EU obligations. All 23 partners involved in the network, including MEPA, are currently working on the development of scientific and communication tools that will help the management of Mediterranean MPAs.
This is not the first time that MEPA secured European funding for projects aiming to enhance protection of marine areas around the Maltese Islands. In 2003, MEPA secured €10,000 from SMAP programme for the production of the management plan for the stretch of coast from Rdum Majjiesa to Ras ir-Raheb. The plan was completed and launched in 2005.
In 2004, MEPA secured €200,000 from the European Regional Development Fund for specialised marine scientific surveys in the area around Filfla. Once completed, the project will pave way for the eventual designation of Filfla as a marine protected area.
Within MEPA, the above initiatives are managed by the Nature Protection Unit.
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