|MECO PROJECT BASES FOR THE INTEGRATED SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF MEDITERRANEAN SENSITIVE COASTAL ECOSYSTEM|
Marine sandy beaches present a hostile geophysical environment in which the endemic fauna exists in a state of dynamic equilibrium. Pollution and human exploitation for recreational use now threaten this, but, although coastal tourism contributes significantly to the economy of many countries, management of sandy littoral ecosystems is still largely ad hoc, if at all. Recent European policy to promote recreational use has met with measurable success in improving the water quality in coastal areas where tourism is important, but conservation of the sand-beach habitat appears to be a secondary factor. Especially threatened is the strand line fauna and guidelines for a management policy are required, based on environmental audits of diverse sandy beaches over a wide geographical range.
The project is focused on sandy coastal environments and associated areas in the Mediterranean region. The general objective of the project is the derivation of a management strategy for the sustainable use and development of coastal areas in the Mediterranean, and to develop guidelines for the management of sand-beach and related environments, with a view to maintaining bio-diversity and the non-disruptive use of sand littorals.
1) The characterisation of sites in terms of geography, ecology and
present and potential use, by a multidisciplinary team of researchers.
Duration of the project: 36 months from the project take off, on November