BLUECOAST involves the cooperation of Greece and Albania to implement actions for the conservation of some of the most important habitats of the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean, in Zakynthos island (Greece) and the Himara Municipality (Albania).
C. caretta is a common marine migratory endangered species in both countries & is protected by several conventions & agreements (Barcelona Con., Bern Con., Bonn Con., Habitats Directive). The challenge is to establish cross-border cooperation and horizontal synergies in order to cover specific conservation needs & improve policies efficiency and also to establish critical conditions and pro-active methods for the long-term conservation of the species.
BLUECOAST objective is to provide applicable plans & pro-active methods based on long-term conservation goals and climate change adaptation policy in order to increase C. caretta ecosystem resilience. It will address the major stresses at land & sea, driven by human impact and climate change integrating habitats resilience into the broader regional socioeconomic development.
BLUECOAST added value is multiple for a highly migratory species (C. caretta), since it considers its complete life circle and large scale areas that are utilizing, having a positive impact on the different areas related to its life cycle (nesting, feeding/wintering grounds, mating/foraging areas, migratory pathways). This value is based on cross-border cooperation and the development of synergies and common actions in order for C. Caretta to reach a higher level of conservation to the target area which exceeds the 9000 hec. (marine/nesting sites) in Greece, & 10000 hec. in Himara municipality and the migration routes.
The methodology includes 3 main pillars of outputs:
Thus, the project follows a bottom-up approach through the promotion of a participatory mechanism by creating a “blue-cultural hub” in order to contribute to the durable empowerment & awareness of the citizens.
BLUECOAST plans to support 4 levels of target groups: 1 decision-makers at local level (local/regional authorities) benefited directly i.e. for the successful implementation of ICZM, MSP, fostering Blue Growth; 2 decision-makers at national level; 3 groups (i.e. fishermen, research/educational centers, media); & 4 local & general public.