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Biodiversity in Mediterranean Ecosystems

European Heritage under Threat: Biodiversity in Mediterranean Ecosystems (2002)

Recommendations of the meeting of the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy held under the Spanish presidency of the EU Almeria, Spain 11th-13th May 2002, concerning: 

 

EUROPEAN HERITAGE UNDER THREAT: BIODIVERSITY IN MEDITERRANEAN ECOSYSTEMS

 

“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” Jean-Paul Sartre

 

To gain knowledge necessary to halt biodiversity loss by 2010, the participants of this meeting agreed that the following research action points have high priority:

 

  • 1. Better understanding of processes of biodiversity change and their effect on marine and terrestrial ecosystem function in the Mediterranean

 

  • 2. Better understanding of the large-scale dynamics of biodiversity including its relation to the functioning of ecosystems across succession stages

 

  • 3. Further knowledge about the connectedness, ecological context and the critical size of habitat fragments and the process and history of fragmentation

 

  • 4. Development and testing of scientific management and policy tools to control invasive species

 

  • 5. Development of an integrated strategy incorporating climate change scenarios and socioeconomic aspects for the management, restoration and the conservation of both terrestrial and marine Mediterranean ecosystems

 

  • 6. Strengthening and expanding taxonomic competence particularly in relation to conservation and use of biodiversity

 

  • 7. Providing online services and tools for the protection, conservation, sustainable use and management of marine and terrestrial biodiversity

 

  • 8. Developing appropriate methods for ecosystem restoration including both science communication and environmental education

 

  • 9. Better understanding on how policies are established and implemented.

 

To develop high quality and policy relevant research on these priority areas, particular attention should be paid to:

 

  • Guidelines and methods to optimise the design of networks of nature reserves, to manage conflicts over land and water use, and to preserve species, ecosystems and landscapes

 

  • Close co-operation of natural and social scientists, policymakers and stakeholders to conserve, restore and sustainably manage biodiversity in the Mediterranean

 

  • Valuation of ecological goods and services is one important means to translate ecological data into useful information for decision makers

 

  • The interaction between research and society, in particular science communication needs to be improved

 

 

The above research priorities stemmed in particular from the following considerations:

 

  • The Mediterranean Basin is one of 25 biodiversity hotspots of the Earth with exceptional concentrations of endemic species

 

  • The Mediterranean ecosystems show large spatial and temporal variability and interdependence whose sustainable management requires large-scale planning

 

  • The biodiversity of Mediterranean coastal habitats depends on the features and management of the coastal terrestrial belt and vice versa

 

  • Biodiversity in the Mediterranean is closely linked to human, social and cultural diversity

 

  • Mediterranean biodiversity faces pressure from anthropogenic sources, for example through tourism, agriculture, urbanisation, fire, overharvesting, pollution, habitat loss or fragmentation and the introduction and spread of non-indigenous species
last modified on 18 Dec 2012