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Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, Spain. Photo: A. Barrajon

          improve information and  adapt to change. Moreover,   tion with RAC/SPA is addressing the impact of climate
          information about the impact of climate change on   change on Mediterranean MPAs with the long-term aim
          biodiversity will provide the evidence required to jus-  of building a strategy for assessing and minimizing the
          tify investment in mitigation and adaptation measures.   risk posed by climate change to marine and coastal
          Finally, climate change monitoring programmes can   ecosystems. This work will build towards the medium-
          furnish valuable baseline information that can feed into   term  goals of the SAP BIO Programme  at the Medi-
          current efforts to evaluate the impact of climate change   terranean level (UNEP-MAP-RAC/SPA, 2009), which
          by the end of the current century. Since the impact risk   include improving coordinated actions across Mediter-
          will depend on the areas considered, these efforts will   ranean MPAs, informing adaptive approaches to cli-
          allow resources to be allocated to those areas that are   mate change for effective MPA management, initiating
          expected to suffer the most.                   a climate alert warning system at different geographical
                                                         scales and reducing vulnerability within MPAs.
                Mitigation of climate change:            A key goal of this programme is to identify the most
                It refers to those response              appropriate parameters for monitoring climate change
                strategies that reduce the sources       impacts on biodiversity in these MPAs at a Mediterra-
                of greenhouse gases or enhance           nean scale. That will enhance our understanding of how
                their sinks, to subsequently reduce      marine communities respond and help managers as-
                the probability of reaching a given      sess the condition of their sites and the environmental
                level of climate change. Mitigation      changes that are occurring there.
                reduces the likelihood of exceeding
                the adaptive capacity of natural         To address this goal we organized several meetings to
                systems and human societies.             bring together climate change researchers, biodiversity
                                                         scientists and protected area stakeholders covering a
                                                         wide range of expertise. The resulting discussions and
                                                         the work conducted since then have been compiled into
          Climate change needs to be taken into consideration in
          all MPA management plans. Incorporating it into MPA   this guide for Mediterranean MPA managers. It aims to
          monitoring does not require expensive equipment or   give some guidance on how to measure the impact of
          highly technical abilities. It can further help managers   climate change on the marine biodiversity of protected
          understand the vulnerabilities and diverse responses of   areas and how to improve planning for the mitigation of
          their marine communities at different sites and revise   future impact. It also summarizes the most important
          MPA zoning and management accordingly. There may   threats to and effects on Mediterranean marine biodi-
          also be opportunities to include monitoring actions in   versity that have been observed to date and outlines
          MPA management plans and to link them to existing   the many uncertainties that still exist in understanding
          climate and oceanographic monitoring programmes in   ecological responses to climate change. The guide is
          the Mediterranean region and Europe.           thus intended as an aid and managers may choose to
                                                         use any of the several different monitoring plans and in-
          Within the framework of the MedPAN Association and   dicators outlined, depending on their particular circum-
          the  MedPAN  North  project, IUCN  Med  in  collabora-  stances and management objectives.

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