oceanography master program announcement poster

Want to do a MSc in Applied Oceanography offered by the University of Malta?

Source: University of Malta

Deadline for registration: 25 June, 2021

Whether you are a student just finishing your first degree or an already qualified professional wishing to enhance and diversify your career, this is the course that fits your aspirations to be a marine professional prepared to take the opportunities of this decade dedicated to the oceans. It is the right course for those who want to sharpen their talents and wish to shape their career to fit the future challenges of the knowledge based society which will rely more extensively on our sustainable relationship with the sea.

It is also an opportunity to study in Malta, the place where everybody wants to be. We have also some scholarships to offer to those who need a push of support. This year we have a partnership from two international companies (AquaBioTech and Deltares respectively) and we are offering three scholarships to EU candidates.

The course is intended to train post-graduate students and professionals on state-of-the-art methodologies and tools to measure, understand and predict the marine environment, and derive sustained benefits from the sea. It is elaborated over a course programme spanning and merging the scientific, technical and applicative aspects of oceanography to offer students a wide-ranging integrated approach, linking science to management, putting technology at the service of users and stakeholders, and providing tools and training for more efficient service oriented applications. Targeted areas of such applications include: environmental monitoring and surveillance, assessment and mitigation of risks, marine science-based policy development and strategic planning, climate change, sustainable resource exploitation, ocean governance, marine industries and service provision, and the overall empowerment of human resources to face current and emerging challenges in the marine domain.

While retaining the necessary scientific elements related to the acquisition and use of data and its transformation into knowledge, the course targets to put an emphasis on achievement of skills, and empower students to excel in performance on applications and operational practices.

The Master course in Applied Oceanography is offered to both local and foreign students.

Visit the website for more information and scholarship opportunities

AquaBioTech Group and Deltares are partners in the delivery of this course.

screenshot malago-how newspaper - econmia azul article

La economía azul genera 300.000 empleos en Andalucía

Source: Málago hoy

La economía azul, es decir, la relacionada con mares y océanos; genera en Andalucía 300.000 empleos y 17.000 millones de euros, lo que supone un 10,5% del PIB de la región, sólo dos puntos menos que el turismo. Estas son los principales datos que se extraen del informe La Economía Azul en Andalucía que ha elaborado la Confederación de Empresarios de Andalucía(CEA). 

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msp event poster

MSP as booster for Blue Economy – Ensuring a coherent planning across the Western Mediterranean region

The WestMED – MSPglobal joint webinar, held on May 11th 2021, focused on advancing a step closer to a Mediterranean MSP perspective, a perspective of collaboration, coexistence and synergetic relationship between the different components of the maritime sectors. The main objective of this event was to examine different forms of governance relating to MSP and how can data collection and analyses could be used more consistently to boost the blue economy at the local/ national or regional level.

The event brought together the experiences of the southern region of WestMED and formulated practical recommendations for a sustainable multi-use of the WestMED region at different scales (local, national and cross-border).

Two different sessions were organized to discuss MSP topics, the first session on: “MSP as a boost of the blue economy: a sub-regional approach” and the second session a “Roundtable – EU MSP Platform”, where National Hubs of WestMED Initiative and National Focal Points of MSPGlobal project, were invited into a roundtable to share their experiences and knowledge about the topic discussions, with intervention of the audience (SLIDO questions). Additionally, at the beginning of the second session, the WestMED Sea Basin expert of the EU MSP Platform presented the outcomes of the EU MSP Platform-MSP MED event that took place the previous day 10th of May.

At the end of the two sessions, the panelist communicated key messages for common actions in the region between the  IOC-UNESCO and WestMED Initiative.

During the event various ideas (recommendations) were discussed, mostly focusing on regional collaboration:

  • Assessing the status of MSP at local and national level, with the support of researchers and scientists, to check future trends including environmental, economic and social impacts;
  • Further funding to support data collection, as the basis for decision-making and preparation of national plans with the support of scientific community;
  • Encouraging research, innovation and training in the marine and maritime sector;
  • Flexible approaches to look at regional protocols and conventions to take advantage of already established agreements;
  • Ecosystem services as cumulative impacts indicators to track the general good state and consider the cumulative impacts as well on the cultural and socio-economic state;
  • Awareness and communication for the southern countries about how MSP is important for their national/local socio-economic growth
  • Integration and coordination of all levels of governance is essential for the management of the marine environment and marine activities and uses;
  • There is a broad consensus that existing and established regional platforms (existing international / regional conventions, SDGs) could be a good way to achieve this coordination.
  • The definition of national blue economy strategies is essential to know how to align the objectives of the MSP with the interests of blue growth;
  • The MSP can promote the blue economy by allocating space to specific strategic sectors, always considering environmental impacts;
  • Aligning the plans of the MSP with the general objectives and processes of environmental protection at national and international levels and with economic and social issues;
  • Promoting and implementing transdisciplinary approaches, merging knowledge on social, cultural and economic processes as well as on ecological, biological, geological and physical and cultural processes;
  • It’s important for the southern Med countries to first develop the planning of the marine space at national level, and once achieving this to proceed to regional level.

For more information, please contact thanos.smanis@westmed-initiative.eu

cargo.ship

WestMED Green Shipping Technical Group: first meeting among subgroups of stakeholders interested in priority actions

The ultimate mission of the WestMED Assistance Mechanism (WMAM) is to provide support for the adoption and implementation of the Blue Economy agenda « Framework for Action ».

To reach the main goals established in the FfA, the WMAM has developed multiple actions and tools over time, including support to new project proposals or the promotion of partnerships and matchmaking or the creation of dedicated thematic Technical Groups, which are an effective and innovative instrument aimed at gathering the 5+5 Dialogue countries around common actions and jointly tackle global challenges.

Since year one, the Technical Group on Green Shipping, composed of institutional representatives from WestMED countries, has been able to define key priorities on the topic of Sustainable Maritime Transport and Alternative Fuels, and to involve stakeholders in operative sub-groups for the translation of such priorities in concrete actions and project proposals:

  • Feasibility Studies and Observatory on Technological Chains as a policy/decision making tool to boost investments in sustainable energy;
  • Energy Communities in Ports;
  • Commercial (and barge) Fleets Renewal and Adaption to ensure their compliance with the thresholds of emissions and with the challenge of environmental sustainability.

On May 26th, a dedicated networking session represented an opportunity for the transfer of the pro-active role of the WMAM to the direct leadership and co-working of the group toward the stakeholders involved.

Thanks to the efforts of the WM Natjonal Hubs, more than 30 organizations joined the event, where 20 were directly engaged in the sub-groups, and had access to a wide overview of the incoming funding calls of the new programming period.

With the support of the WMAM, the subgroups already framed the project ideas, kick-starting the exchange of strategic information and targeting the next date for meeting again: new partnerships are building up and getting ready for the launch of new calls!

 

WestMED at the ASSOITTICA Sea Food Trade Show 2021

The first edition of the international digital fishery and aquaculture exhibition, organised by the Italian association ASSOITTICA, took place on 20-21 May.

With over 90 virtual exhibitors from South-Eastern Asia to Alaska, from Chile to Mauritania, as well as a high quality programme of seminars and workshops, the WestMED Initiative was invited to have an active presence.

Thanks to a strong support provided in these two years by the Italian NH, the WestMED Assistance Mechanism has joined the venue with :
– a dedicated stand to meet stakeholders, interested in its technical assistance and services;
– the first official webinar held by AquaWest, the newly created WestMED Technical Group on Sustainable Aquaculture, with a strong focus on the Southern shore countries of the Mediterranean.

With the participation of the FAO/GFCM representative for Aquaculture, stakeholders from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania and Libya have had the possibility to present and debate on their national plans for the development of sustainable aquaculture, but also to access to Italian and French good practices towards the Green & Blue bio-economy.

The combination of increased production capacity (in response to internal and export demand) with the environmental, economic and financial sustainability, represents the main current challenge for these young and dynamic societies.

The WestMED stand was intensively visited during the two days by an international public of operators, confirming the importance of the sub-basin initiative of DG MARE and its impact on the Blue Growth ecosystem.

front cover blue economy report 2021

2021 EU Blue Economy report – Emerging sectors prepare blue economy for leading part in EU green transition

The European Commission has published the fourth edition of “The EU Blue Economy Report”, providing an overview of the performance of the EU-27 economic sectors related to oceans and the coastal environment.

The sector directly employed close to 4.5 million people in 2018 and generated around €650 billion in turnover and €176 billion in gross value added. Emerging activities such as ocean energy, marine biotechnology and robotics are developing quickly and will play an important role in the EU’s transition towards a carbon-neutral, circular and biodiverse economy.

Read the full article here on the ec.europa.site

Download the full report here

 

WestMED Assistance Mechanism highlights the importance of transferability to Southern Shore countries during meeting of the Sustainable Tourism Community

The westMED Assistance Mechanism participated in the event on May 6 2021 organised by the Sustainable Tourism Community where the importance of replicability and transferability of EU funded projects was highlighted – including the importance of strengthening ties and opportunities with Southern partners. It was also noted that the assistance Mechanism is actively engaged in supporting stakeholders to extend the benefits that are coming out of a number of projects on sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean.

The MED Sustainable Tourism Community counts on a group of 17 Associated partners (networks, actors participating in Mediterranean initiatives, tourism stakeholders, academia) with the role of ensuring links with other initiatives and to enlarge the impacts and the scope of the dissemination, transferring and capitalisation activities. The main questions discussed the event are:

  1. The identification of synergies with existing initiatives of participating  organizations
  2. Identification of collaboration among organization and the MED Community
  3. Involvement in the the transferring & capitalization of activities

During the meeting on the Sustainable Tourism community, reference has been made  to the following catalogue on the most important outputs of the projects implemented within the Sustainable Tourism Community (STC) of the INTERREG MED 2014- 2020 programme (https://sustainable-tourism.interreg-med.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Sites/Sustainable_Tourism/horizontal_project/ST_Deliverables_IP_2/ST_IP2_WP4/4.3.2.Community_Catalogue/_CAT_ST_full_35MPs_WEB.pdf

 

Read the news item of this event on the Interreg Med  – Sustainable Tourism website

 

front cover portuguese recovery and resilience plan

Portugal’s recovery and resilience plan purposes €252 million for Blue Economy

Portugal was the first Member-State to officially submit its recovery and resilience plan to the European Commission on the 22nd of April. The Plan focuses on resilience, climate, and digital transition, and it is divided into 20 main sections/areas, comprising 27 reforms and 83 investments.

 The Blue Economy is one of the 20 areas for investing, gathering a total amount of €252 million. The four investments are the Blue Hub, a Network of Infrastructures for the Blue Economy; The Green and Digital Transition and Fisheries security; the Atlantic Defence Operations Centre and Naval Platform; and the development of the Azores Blue Economy Cluster.

 The European Commission will assess the Portuguese Plan and wait for all Member-State to submit their recovery and resilience plans. “We will continue to engage intensively with the Member States to help them deliver high-quality plans. Our goal remains to adopt all plans by the summer. For the first payments to be made, we need all Member States to have approved the Own Resources Decision”, said President Ursula von der Leyen.

The Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan is available here.

The European Commission Press Release is available here.

 

For more information contact the National Hub Portugal

mediterranean beach

WestMED Asistance Mechanism highlights importance of transferability of Sustainable Tourism Initiatives to Southern Shore Countries

The Assistance Mechanism participated in an event on May 6, 2021 organised by the Sustainable Tourism Community where the importance of replicability and transferability of EU funded projects and was highlighted – including the importance of strengthening ties and opportunities with Southern partners. It was also noted that the Assistance Mechanism is actively engaged in supporting stakeholders to extend the benefits that are coming out of a number of projects on sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean.

The MED Sustainable Tourism Community counts on a group of 17 Associated partners (networks, actors participating in Mediterranean initiatives, tourism stakeholders, academia) with the role of ensuring links with other initiatives and to enlarge the impacts and the scope of the dissemination, transferring and capitalisation activities. The main questions discussed the event are:

  1. The identification of synergies with existing initiatives of participating  organizations
  2. Identification of collaboration among organization and the MED Community
  3. Involvement in the the transferring & capitalization of activities

Read the news article on the Interreg Med Sustainable tourism

 

For more information, please contact:
– Stephanie Vella: malta@westmed-initiative.eu
– Mohamed Lemine:   mauritania@westmed-initiative.eu

Screenshot vulnerability tool with graphs

UVIGO releases the Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Climate Change Impact on MPA’s (Beta-Version)

In the frame of the MPA Engage project, the University of VIGO (UVIGO) developed a methodology for designing and implementing a Social-ecological Vulnerability Assessment to the projected impacts of climate change in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean.

UVIGO developed an interactive tool in the form of an app for the calculation and illustration of the Vulnerability Indices in order to support managers in the management and the interpretation of the vulnerability of the MPA and its species and habitats.

 

More information

Visit the MPA Engage website