|MECO PROJECT BASES FOR THE INTEGRATED SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF MEDITERRANEAN SENSITIVE COASTAL ECOSYSTEM|
objectives of the project were 1) the derivation of a management strategy
for the sustainable development of coastal areas in the Mediterranean,
and 2) to provide a manual of recommended guidelines for its application
in a general context in the region.
Achievements and results of the project were the following. 1) A baseline information was produced on the study areas, specific coastal habitats and ecosystems. The present state of health of the ecosystems identified above was estimated. 2) Suitable biological indicators were identified and their value assessed as indicators of the adaptability of the ecosystems to changes. 3) Methodologies and bio-assays were developed for the early identification of loss of diversity in local populations, based on genetic diversity within populations at the macromolecular level (proteins and DNA), behavioural variation and population dynamics. 4) Socio-economic constraints and potentialities were identified and characterised regarding the economic and cultural value of each study-area. Socio-economic activities were monitored and assessed, with specific reference to tourism, and information provided to enable the correlation of activity and management practices with biological activity and diversity. 5) Suitable indicators were identified for monitoring management measures in the areas. 6) Management strategies were developed for resource use and enhancement in coastal areas. 7) Management plans for a sustainable use of the considered areas were developed.
The major challenge of the project was to integrate different disciplinary approaches and backgrounds of an international partnership, composed both of scientists and coastal managers, to develop an useful product for a sustainable development, such as the management plans for specific coastal areas, applicable also in a wider context and other scenarios in the Mediterranean.