Habitat loss is one of the most pervasive threats to the diversity, structure and functioning of coastal ecosystems and the goods and services they provide (Worm et al. 2006, Airoldi et al. 2008). In the Mediterranean Sea, macroalgal forests represent one of the most valuable, but rapidly disappearing habitats. Whilst there is evidence that this general trend can still be reversed, we need more powerful tools to address the issue and bring about the change required.
Here, capitalising on the experience gained and the knowledge accumulated in previous projects, we have formulated a consortium that will improve existing, and develop new restoration techniques to efficiently restore degraded macroalgal forestsThe project will involve a combination of spatial analysis, laboratory studies, pilot actions in the field and awareness raising among blue growth sectors, the general public and decision makers
- Map the distribution and status of macroalgal forests in the Mediterranean to help prioritise areas for restoration
- Support EU policies and initiatives such as the Marine Strategic Framework Directive and Maritime spatial planning Directive;
- Identify and map the drivers that compromise the health and restoration potential of macroalgal forests and ecosystem services;
- Conduct extensive laboratory and field-based experiments in order to implement restoration techniques also on the light of global change;
- Develop indicators, targets and monitoring frameworks to assess the degree of success and the benefits in ecosystem services;
- Conduct pilot restoration in two MPAs (Torre Guaceto & Porto Cesareo, Adriatic-Ionian region) and in contaminated Sites of National Interest (Bagnoli-Coroglio).
- Promote the transferability of know-how in the Mediterranean EU and third countries (Albania, Tunisia, Morocco);
- Develop a detailed roadmap for a follow-up project(s) in order to implement and extend the pilot activities over larger areas;
- Engage relevant stakeholders and create a network in order to raise awareness and promote the socio-economic benefits of conserving, restoring and sustainably using our ocean
This project has received funding from the European Union’s EMFF programme under grant agreement – EASME/EMFF/2017/188.8.131.52/S4/01/SI2.789059.
More info: http://www.afrimed-project.eu/