Marine EcoMed Project comes to an end
Launched in late 2018, the Marine EcoMed project was supported by the Erasmus+ EU program, to build an international strategic partnership to enhance research and education in the field of sustainable marine management and communication strategies within the Mediterranean basin.
SUBMON partnered with three Universities: IUAV Venice, Aix-Marseille University, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. And two other non-governmental organizations: Tethys Research Institute and iSea, to develop a set of outputs:
1.- A sharing platform to enrich teaching and improve learning experiences on Maritime Spatial Planning, Ocean Literacy, and communication, functioning as the backbone of the entire project.
2.- An Intensive Study Program for university students and early career professionals on planning and management of marine and coastal areas. The three editions of the Intensive Study Program, respectively hosted by the University of Aix-Marseille, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and IUAV Venice, welcomed a total of 63 students from several academic institutions and with different backgrounds. The participants were trained through an innovative integrated approach while tackling the management of marine and coastal areas of three case studies: the National Park of Calanques, the Thermaikos Gulf, and the Gulf of Venice. During the training, the students tested their skills with a serious game based on role-playing simulations of real decisional scenarios, both for marine resource exploitation and conservation. At the end of each edition, students confronted themselves with local stakeholders in a multiplier event, presenting their proposals for management plans.
3.- A 15-hours open online course launched in December 2021 and attended by more than 600 university students and early career professionals. This course aimed to provide participants with an overall knowledge of the planning process and management approaches of marine and coastal areas. A specific focus also addressed stakeholder engagement approaches, and communication strategies to support planning and management of marine space. The course materials are still available on the Marine EcoMed official website.
4.- A handbook that presents an overview of the Integrated Ocean Management (IOM), Ecosystem-based Approach and Communication strategies, together with a description of successful projects and good practices. The handbook features challenges and achievements of IOM in the Mediterranean context and supports its understanding and implementation in the future. Case studies on outreach activities, education, and citizen-science projects provided by non-academic partners complemented the academic knowledge on the topic. The handbook can be downloaded from the Marine EcoMed official website.
The project achievements confirm that there is growing interest in the topic of Integrated Ocean Management. Managing our common ocean with an integrated approach is pivotal for reaching Sustainable Development Goal 14 “Life Below Water”, which reasserts the need to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.