BiodivAMP – Development of tools for monitoring and protection of biodiversity in Marine Protected Areas along the Portuguese coast was launched publicly, more specifically on the 22nd of September. The presentation took place at a meeting with all the consortium partners and brought together the project leaders – ISPA-Instituto Universitário and MARE -, as well as representatives from ANP|WWF, CCMAR, Câmara Municipal de Esposende, Ecoalga, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria, Museu de História Natural do Funchal and Naturalist.
The project, financed by the Fundo Azul programme, aims to develop tools to monitor and protect biodiversity in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the portuguese coast. In this sense, BiodivAMP created this website, which aims to make known the existing MPAs in Portugal, demonstrate their importance and publicize the initiatives that are being taken to protect them. The start of BiodivAMP did not go unnoticed in the media, having been highlighted, for example, in Observador .
In addition to the website, a Good Practices Manual for monitoring, management and governance of MPAs on the Portuguese coast is being prepared, with the aim of providing stakeholders with tools to manage marine areas in a more effective and sustainable way.
BiodivAMP also has an innovative pilot project on the ground aimed at monitoring biodiversity, where marine ecosystems are being studied in six national MPAs: Litoral Norte, Berlengas, Parque Marinho Professor Luiz Saldanha (Parque Natural da Arrábida), Parque Marinho do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, Parque Marinho do Garajau (Madeira) and Parque Marinho do Canal Faial-Pico (Açores). In these six MPAs, water and soil samples will be collected to test for the presence of environmental DNA (i.e. DNA from free marine organisms in the environment) and thus indirectly identify which species are present in each MPA.
The results of this study, as well as the Manual of Good Practices, will be published in this section in due course, thus contributing to raising awareness of the importance of Marine Protected Areas.