The Initial Training Network for Monitoring Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MMMPA) aims to train the next generation of MPA scientists and managers, equipping them with a flexible set of skills essential within a wide range of professional environments, including public administration, local authorities, industry and academia. They will focus on the most important aspects that need adequate conservation. In particular, researchers will maturate the experience to: identify species listed in the Barcelona Convention (Protocol ASPIM, Annex II); monitor their distribution and health state; follow adequate experimental designs; evidence spill-over effects; develop fishery management at the local level, develop management guidelines, engage with stakeholders and the society at large. These experiences will stem from a highly interdisciplinary network, leading in taxonomy, ecology, biology conservation, bio-cartography, and socio-economy. Furthermore, they will be trained in a range of soft skills including science communication/outreach, as it is essential at the delicate interface between science, the management of natural assets and the public at large. Training and hands-on experiences will be delivered by a strong network of world-class experts in MPA management which will provide a highly focused learning environment. The consortium includes 7 Full (5 Universities, 1 Research centre, 1 SME) and 6 Associated partners (4MPAs, 2 SMEs), and will recruit 10 ESRs (360pm) and 4 ERs (24pm). Both Full and Associated partners have strong collaborative links with other (MPAs) scientists, professionals and managers and are, therefore, well placed to deliver a comprehensive training network. The planned rotation will expose ESR/ERs to each partner, enhancing intersectoral exchanges and strengthening the Mediterranean Research Area by developing an exciting programme that is attractive to the global research community.
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