As a contribution to management planning from an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) perspective, a project was set up to create a website gathering all available data, as well as the present status and ongoing activities related to the environmental situation in Montenegro’s coastal and marine protected areas. The project, led by MedCEM and financed in the framework of the 2014 MedPAN Call for Small Projetcs, should contribute to accelerate the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Montenegro.
The general objective of this project is to create and launch a website with available information related to Montenegro’s coastal and marine protected areas. The website should enable various stakeholders to access important data related to the present situation, the environment and nature conservation efforts in Montenegro. It should also provide crucial information about the situation in Montenegrin protected coastal areas to international institutions and networks. Eventually, the bilingual website should contribute to a better understanding of the specific situation, and at the same time, raise awareness about the urgent needs related to the protection of marine ecosystems.
First of all, this work is based on a consequent data collection from various sources. Indeed, all possible sources and databases available in Montenegro were identified. Meetings with various stakeholders (Maritime Domain Public Enterprise, IBMK, Hotel Soho Resort (Ratac), Municipality of Bar, diving clubs…), consultations and data digging were processed. A focus was given to existing scientific research and results, the situation in the field, available photos and films, press clippings, various documents and ongoing related activities. Several basic parameters about the environmental situation in future MPAs (P. oceanica meadows, Pinna nobilis, fish census, invasive species…) are being recorded. Five diving surveys have already taken place in 4 areas.
The second part of the project, the development and launch of the website, is in progress. The kick off meeting took place on 1 December 2014 to present the project and linked initiatives. Articles in newspaper were published. At the present time, work on website design and architecture is almost over.
It’s important to note that this project is possible thanks to the commitment of a lot of people (MedCEM personnel, students and volunteers, supervised by IBMK representative). It should contribute to establish a network of the stakeholders interested in this subject and create a good basis for the future management of the Montenegrin MPAs.
The project is spread over a period of 14 months. It is funded by the FFEM and the MAVA and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundations in the framework of the 2014 MedPAN Call for Small Projects (€17,800). All in all, the project received a € 23,800 endowment.