Ville de Marseille


Juillet 2014 >

Marine protected areas, biodiversity: Marseille plays a leading role

Marine protected areas, biodiversity: Marseille plays a leading role

In preparation for the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress held in October 2013 in Marseille, the city's Sea and Coastline Service forged a partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The agreement with this major international NGO comes to an end next November but will be extended until 2020 based on common goals for the preservation of biodiversity.

Artificial reef in Prado Bay. Photo DR
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Did you know that over the past two years Marseille has been working with the oldest and most representative global environmental organisation in the world? Founded in 1948, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has 1200 member organisations and brings together 160 countries including France.

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At the International Marine Protected Areas Congress, which was held in Marseille last October, Jean-François Sys took on the role as coordinator between the Congress and the Ville de Marseille as well as the programmes planned as part of MP 2013. A marine festival “La mer nous inspire” was organised alongside the conferences in Marseille and open to the public for a week.

I have helped the Sea and Coastline Service to raise public awareness of the issues concerning the conservation of marine environments and the benefits of protecting the sea,” explains the geographer by training who is also a professional diver.

 


Visit the “Of Oceans and Men” exhibition, on until October at the Natural History Museum ­

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L’exposition « Des océans et des hommes » Museum d’Histoire Naturelle.­­­­
­­­“Of Oceans and Men” exhibition running until October at the Natural History Museum.
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Always keen to raise awareness on land of the richness of marine life, the Natural History Museum of Marseille is running an exhibition called “Of Oceans and Men” from April to October. Through a collection of photos, videos and interactive tools, the exhibition explores our ancestral and intimate relationship with the sea. A large touchscreen will allow visitors to gain a better understanding of the issues concerning the Mediterranean basin as well as its natural and cultural heritage. The aim is to highlight the threats of pollution and touch upon the consequences of coastline development and intensive fishing.­

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Jean-François Sys, géographe de formation et plongeur professionnel, UICN à Marseille. (Photo NBC)­­
J­ean-François Sys, a geographer by training and professional diver, is leading a project at the heart of the Commission on Protected Areas at the IUCN French Committee. (Photo NBC/econostrum.info)­
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­­With the IUCN Commission on Protected Areas, Jean-François Sys is carrying out detailed work on the designation of protected area management categories in the French Mediterranean. In other words, areas are placed into one of six categories according to their management goals to achieve greater visibility internationally. “For example, a marine nature reserve will be more restrictive than a nature park by only authorising a certain number of activities and encouraging sustainable development. This work establishes a link between local managers and major international conventions including the convention on biological diversity, which aims to create marine protected areas covering 10% of the exclusive economic zone. The strategies for creating marine protected areas are the most encouraging yet,” explains the leader of the project which is focused on France's Mediterranean coastline.

­Marine Protected Areas today cover 4.5% of the Mediterranean with Marseille leading the way thanks to the Calanques National Park, the artificial reefs in Prado Bay and island management.

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Rédaction : econostrum.info­­

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