III Alboran Conference: consolidation of a joint project

19 June 2014 | News story

The Alboran-POCTEFEX project ended this week with a workshop organized in Almeria (Spain), from 17-19 June, after two years of work and activities.

Three days of meetings were necessary to close this project which began in 2012. More than 60 representatives coming from the two sides of the Mediterranean were present, representing the three countries involved : Algeria, Morocco, and Spain.

Although the POCTEFEX-Alboran project ended, it is expected that the unifying structure built during the last two years will keep existing and growing. The workshop was not only about closing a project, but also the recognition of the desire for it to be the first step of a new one. During the first phase, the results and products of the project’s 14 activities were presented, followed by a drawing of the key lines of a new frame work. International priorities were identified for the Alboran Sea, and debates were organized on key subjects: governance, biodiversity, and the relation between society and natural resources.
Participants have been working in groups, aiming to define projects following the priorities identified. The meeting finished with an Action Plan proposal, carrying on the POCTEFEX-Alboran project’s spirit and making the latter the first path of a pathway to be continued.

The results of IUCN-Med in the POCTEFEX-Alboran project

IUCN-Med has implemented many activities in this project’s setting. The creation of a prototype of a geo portal for the sharing of information is noteworthy; this information tool will help the managers and political leaders inthe decision making process concerning the governance and management of the Alboran sea´s natural resources.

Other activities have been realized through meetings. A first meeting was organized between artisanal fishing organisations, in order to exchange their respective experiences. Meetings were then organized with cooperative working groups, gathering experts of cetaceans and marine turtles for the first and experts of marine protected areas for the second.

IUCN-Med oversaw the publication of an awareness raising document based on several national and international studies, as a support for the High Commission ofWater and Forests and the Fight against Desertification, in the declaration of the Cap des Trois Fourches as a marine protected area.

About the POCTEFEX-Alboran project

The Program for the Spain-External Cross-Border Co-operation Programme (POCTEFEX in French) is a European initiative, willing to promote the partnerships between Spain and Morocco, thanks to the financial support of the European Fund for Regional Development (FEDER in French). The ALBORAN project or “Common management of a natural cross-border space,” aims to promote harmonious development of the environment, contributing to a better structuring of the cooperation in the Alboran Sea, and promoting a sustainable management of its environment.

This meeting was organized by the Regional Ministry of Spatial Planning of the Andalusia government (Junta de Andalucia) and the IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med), with the collaboration of the Moroccan Department of Maritime Fishing of the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fishing and the University of Almeria. These partnerships take place in the framework of the operational programme of Spain-External Cross-Border Co-operation.