With only 1.27 percent of the Mediterranean Sea under protection, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has now called for countries to adhere to the agreements of its Mediterannean Initiative.
A recent WWF study found that Greece, together with France, Italy, Spain, and Turkey have all failed to implement the comprehensive plan the countries agreed to under the management plan of 2010. The five countries had pledged to achieve the protection of 10 percent of the Mediterranean Sea through the introduction of the so-called “Marine Protected Area” conservation system.
However, with 9.68 percent of the Mediterranean defined as a Marine Protected Area, only 2.48 percent is covered by a comprehensive management plan, with a mere 0.03 percent under full protection. Obviously, the signators of the 2010 agreement have not been serious in their bringing change to fruition. As I type this report, the Mediterranean Sea is in danger of becoming a sea of plastic, and precious little is being done about it.
Furthermore, WWF’s researchers underline that the inability of Mediterranean countries to defend the region’s unique marine biodiversity could end up costing $5.6 trillion dollars. The WWF is again calling on leaders and policymakers to take action and to set achievable goals towards the protection of shorelines and the marine ecosystem.
Greece has included 20.1 percent of its seas in the Natura 2000 Network, in order to protect endangered species such as the Mediterranean seal, as well as habitats that contribute to ecological balance. But, according to WWF, only 3 percent is protected with legally binding measures regulating human activity, such as fisheries, maritime traffic, and tourism. Constantinos Liarikos, head of the conservation program at WWF Greece, offered this:
“No Greek Marine Protected Area has adequate and effective management measures with specific protection objectives and action plans so that one can assess their effectiveness in protecting our marine wealth.”
This summer, WWF’s Blue Panda sailed to the Greek islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia, and Ithaki to promote awareness of the diversity of marine wildlife in the Mediterranean Sea, and inform the public on threats, which include offshore drilling for oil and natural gas.
Partially sourced from Greek Travel Pages