LIFE IP PAF INTEMARES
LIFE IP PAF INTEMARES “Integrated, innovative and participatory management of the Natura 2000 network in the Spanish marine environment” is the largest marine conservation project in Europe. It is the first initiative in Spain that combines different European funds for the management of an entire network of protected areas at sea.
Its main objective is to achieve a consolidated network of marine areas in the Natura 2000 network managed in an effective and integrated way, with the active participation of the sectors involved and knowledge as basic tools for decision-making.
This will all be carried out in accordance with the Prioritised Action Framework for the Natura 2000 network in Spain, the document that defines the priorities and conservation actions necessary for the network in the period 2014-2020 and the sources of funding. It also draws on the knowledge, experience and results obtained from the LIFE+ INDEMARES project.
LIFE IP INTEMARES promotes innovative approaches to the marine Natura 2000 network so that these will become benchmark areas, with the involvement of the socio-economic sectors and users of the sea in the management of these areas.
For this purpose, key institutions in the field of management, research and conservation of the marine environment have come together for its implementation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment coordinates the project LIFE IP INTEMARES through the Biodiversity Foundation and also acts as a partner in the project through the Directorate General for Sustainability of the Coast and the Sea. Also participating as partners are the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, the most important public body in the field of marine research; WWF-Spain and SEO/BirdLife, two major conservation organisations with extensive experience in conservation; and the Spanish Fisheries Confederation.
The next eight years will see the launching of around 50 actions related to: research; monitoring and surveillance; conservation; governance and participation; and communication, awareness raising and environmental education.
The project, which will run until 31 December 2024, has a budget of 49.8 million euros. It has financial support from the European Union LIFE Programme, the European Social Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, as well as other sources of funding.
The LIFE IP INTEMARES project addresses all the European and national policies on the marine environment as a whole. With this initiative, Spain will be able to comply with the international commitment to protecting more than 10% of its marine area.
- Increase the knowledge necessary for marine management.
- Complete the Natura 2000 network in the marine environment and ensure effective management of the areas included.
- Ensure the maintenance or restoration of a favourable conservation status for habitat types and species of community interest.
- Improve the surveillance and monitoring of Natura 2000 sites and the conservation status of habitat types and species of community interest.
- Provide adequate training and capacity building for the achievement of the conservation objectives established for the Natura 2000 sites, and also promote the sharing of information, awareness raising and cooperation between actors involved in conservation.
- Promote and explore the opportunities that the marine areas of the Natura network offer to become benchmarks for a new model of production within the framework of a blue and low-carbon economy.
- Promote innovative approaches related to Natura 2000 marine areas.
- Involve the socio-economic sectors and the users of the sea in the management of the areas.
- Demonstrate the positive impact of integrated management and disseminate this information so that it can be applied in other regions of the EU.
- Train the managers of the areas designated under the Natura 2000 network and promote governance mechanisms for these areas.
- Support measures to promote adaptation to climate change.
The LIFE IP INTEMARES project will carry out 50 actions divided into five strategic blocks:
- Monitoring and surveillance
- Governance and capacity building
Communication, awareness raising and environmental education
More specifically, the actions focus on increasing the knowledge, completing the Natura 2000 network in the marine environment, managing the areas included in an effective way and ensuring the maintenance or restoration of a favourable conservation status for habitats and species of community interest.
They also seek to optimise surveillance and monitoring, to provide appropriate training to managers and users of the sea in order to achieve the conservation objectives established for the Natura 2000 areas, and also to promote the sharing of information, awareness raising and cooperation between actors involved in their conservation. Finally, the project promotes governance mechanisms for these areas and the dissemination of the values and opportunities of the marine Natura 2000 network to society as a whole.
The implementation of the actions is based on the principles of innovation, participation and integration. Innovative approaches will therefore be promoted in relation to the marine Natura 2000 network, both in the area of governance and in the use of new technologies for the monitoring and control of marine areas.
Integration, meanwhile, provides the cornerstone of the project, since this involves the integration of diverse policies, such as the European Union’s Integrated Maritime Policy, the Marine Strategies, the Framework Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning and the Common Fisheries Policy in the marine Natura 2000 network. Various different funds are also incorporated. For the first time a number of major European funds, including the LIFE Programme, the European Social Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, join together for a shared challenge.
Finally, different actors are involved, including project partners, more than 30 organisations and public bodies, including five ministries, all the coastal autonomous communities and cities and also the neighbouring countries, Portugal and France. Also, throughout the project different initiatives will be launched in order to involve many other actors.