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BLUE CONNECT

Strict protection, restoration and co-management of Marine Protected Areas to ensure effective ecosystem conservation and improved connectivity of Blue Corridors

ABOUT THE PROJECT

BLUE CONNECT: Empowering Communities, Safeguarding Seas: BLUE CONNECT Leading Marine Conservation into the Future.

The BLUE CONNECT project addresses the urgent need to protect and restore marine habitats and ecosystems and to reach ambitious EU and global protection and restoration targets by 2030. Together with Marine Protected Area (MPA) managers, authorities, industries, and local communities from 12 Demonstration sites and beyond, BLUE CONNECT is co-developing, promoting, and demonstrating a systematic approach to marine conservation planning and management. This collaborative effort will result in the creation of a powerful Blueprint, directly supporting 1) setting science-based conservation objectives, 2) co-defining conservation actions for effective MPA co- management, 3) ensuring conservation effectiveness and 4) demonstrating the high potential of these tools for replicability and broader use. This will done by establishing a holistic modelling framework that integrates various elements of biodiversity, ecological functioning, ecosystem services, and connectivity, while considering inputs from stakeholders and local communities regarding social, economic, and cultural aspects when defining MPAs and ecological corridors. The project will contribute to a more comprehensive, science-based and inclusive approach to designating new MPAs or expanding existing ones, transitioning to strict protection, restoring ecosystems, enhancing ecological connectivity, and facilitating MPA co-management. By fostering just and fair stakeholder cooperation and citizen science initiatives, BLUE CONNECT will build a greater feeling of co-ownership of protected and restored marine ecosystems and MPA networks and empower communities to play a crucial role in safeguarding our seas. 

42 months | September 2024- March 2028

HORIZON-MISS-2023OCEAN-01

8,375,060.00

PROJECT PARTNERS:

BLUE CONNECT is a consortium of 24 project partners, including SUBMARINER Network (coordinating partner in this project), from 13 countries.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Reach out to our project manager:

Mercedes Ribera Wansart, Project Manager

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