Building links across physical barriers between SPAMIs

Under the Bilateral Agreement between UNEP/MAP and IMELS

Launched in 2018, the SPAMI Twinning Programme aimed at developing and strengthening an effective management of Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI) by setting up twinning programmes among SPAMI and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of Italy and other Mediterranean countries.


8 SPAMIs/MPAs from 5 Mediterranean countries (Albania, Algeria, Italy, Slovenia and Tunisia) have benefited from this programme. During its 12 months implementation:

  • A training on planning according to the ISEA method was provided for 16 MPA and SPAMI managers in Tunisia on 11-12 Marsh 2019. This activity helped to design four management plans according to the ISEA method, that were adopted by the concerned authorities in Albania, Algeria, Slovenia and Tunisia. ISEA Central Planning is the tool set up by the Italian Ministry of the Environment for the coordination of activities carried out by the national MPA network. It is based on a graphic conceptual model that allows a visual understanding of the governance of the protected area, with easy identification of the ecological values of the site, threats, and the strategies and actions developed by the management body to achieve its objectives.
  • 4 exchange visits by Italian managers to twinned MPAs were organized to identify and discuss common challenges and possible solutions.
  • 4 exchange visits to Italian MPAs for managers of twinned MPAs were organized to demonstrate good management and monitoring practices. These exchanges have also led to a better understanding of the functioning of the ISEA system.
  • Several initiatives were launched to encourage the participatory process in the management of SPAMIs. In Tunisia, new boundaries and zoning of the Kneiss SPAMI were defined. In Algeria, a fishing charter around the SPAMI of the Habibas Islands has been developed. In Slovenia, fishermen were involved in the monitoring of the Strunjan SPAMI and in Albania, the activity focused on improving the sustainability of sea excursions operated by local boatmen at the Karaburun Sazan SPAMI.
  • A call for small projects was launched by SPA/RAC, with the main objective of involving local civil society in the management of SPAMIs. These small projects focused on the development of sustainable socio-economic activities and monitoring within the SPAMIs.


In order to further promote regional cooperation between SPAMIs and knowledge-sharing during the SPAMI twinning programme and beyond, a Collaborative Platform has been set up. This online tool aims to facilitate the exchange of information and data between SPAMI managers and to centralize useful material for the management of SPAMIs and MPAs in general.


Thus, the platform provides access to information relating to institutional aspects, including the procedure for the creation and registration of SPAMIs and SPAMI application forms. The platform also provides geo-referenced data on SPAMIs as well as information on management(management plan / ISEA scheme) and ecological features. The resources centre aims to centralize videos and any useful documentation related to SPAMIs. The SPAMI managers have also the possibility to register on the platform and to exchange through the forum.


"The SPAMI Collaborative Platform is a great opportunity to seek synergies among all the SPAMIs across the region. The platform will be a fruitful contribution to improve coordination, through exchange of information and knowledge, at different levels. We share the Mediterranean, therefore we share challenges that will benefit from coordinated approaches", said Jorge ALONSO RODRÍGUEZ, SPA/BD Focal Point in Spain.


Link to the Platform:



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published on 2020/06/17 16:35:00 GMT+0 last modified 2020-06-18T11:06:29+00:00