The project's general objective is to strengthen the conservation and sustainable management of the elements that make up the Mediterranean marine and coastal biological diversity. The actions advocated have been designed to act as models and thus play a pilot, demonstrational part. They also aim at strengthening the concerned countries' national capacities, to guarantee the future of marine resources; particularly those, which are of particular interest or are being threatened.
Moreover, the project aims at concrete action, within the context of the priorities that have been chosen on a national and regional scale, and thus at helping countries discharge certain of their obligations entered into within the framework of the Barcelona Convention's Protocol on Protected Areas, and of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
All the actions of the project appear among the most urgent actions advocated by the SMAP programme, particularly as regards hotspots and the integrated management of the coastal area.
Furthermore, the project will permit management plans to be devised for sites chosen from among the most precious in the Mediterranean. All these chosen sites appear on the Directory of Mediterranean protected areas instituted by the SPA Protocol. Some of these sites are also listed by UNESCO within the framework of the Biosphere Programme. This is therefore also compatible with the SMAP’s priorities
The objectives of the project could be summarised as follows:
Promoting protected area management planning in the Mediterranean;
Enhancing national capacities;
Providing examples of good practice and innovative approaches for the management of protected areas;
Strengthening North-South exchange of experience.