The final conference closing the second phase of the Cooperation with northern and southern transatlantic dimension project was held in Brussels, Belgium on 18th-19th November 2019. The aim of the event was to present the main findings and results of the implementation of the project.
The conference was attended by most of the three twinning projects partners, one member of the former Advisory Board, a number of MPA mangers and representatives from national agencies and other actors participated in different past activities or that will be involved in the new Ocean Governance Project. High level officials from the European institutions also took part in the event.
The twinning project coordinator presented a summary of each twinning during Phase I, and the main activity developed and the outcomes achieved during Phase II. In addition of the coordinators’ presentations, there were interventions from each twinning partner focusing on the benefits that the transatlantic project provided to them and their interest in continuing involved in future exchanges. The exchanges among participants about the lessons-learnt along the three twinning projects in both phases (I & II) allowed to confirm and to go deeper on the relevant issues to which the twinning projects are contributing, such as:
- The international commitments related to marine and coastal biodiversity (Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets and specifically in this period the Post 2020 Process, Sustainable Development Goals, Climate Change Paris Agreement, EU Directives, etc.);
- Linking management actions with the national and international political agendas on MPAs;
- Building sustainability by means of improving the management of MPAs;
- Creating a space of networking and partnership in the Atlantic to tackle the same goals from different cultures in different biogeographic and socioeconomic contexts;
- Strengthening the importance of MPA management and MPA networking in the international political agenda; and
- Challenges and opportunities for the way forward, key actors, resources and mechanisms:
- The role of regional MPA networks supporting national MPA networks and thematic MPA managers networks;
- The Transatlantic MPA network as a unique model to enhance management capacity for MPAs;
- Replicability of the model in other oceans.
The Final conference was also an opportunity to strengthening the linkages between the three twinning projects as well as the link between this Transatlantic MPA Project Phase II and the new Ocean Governance Project that will begin in January 2020.