Formulating a Functional Consortium of Stakeholders

Achieving an effective and functional balance between the conservation of the endangered Mediterranean Monk seal population, the protection of priority habitats (Posidonia beds and the unique Coralligenous beds– tragana) and human activities that are taking place in the wider area around Gyaros, is the ultimate goal of the “CYCLADES LIFE” project.

In view of this not easily achievable goal, the project’s team will formulate a “Consortium of Stakeholders” with the participation of local key stakeholders, involved groups, bodies, entities and representatives of professional, governmental and civil society institutions from both Syros and Andros and from the central relevant authorities and bodies from Athens.

The selection of the Consortium’s participants will be based upon the baseline work conducted during the preparatory actions (socio-economic study), that will map the social and economic aspects and structures of the local communities of Syros and Andros, and will identify the bodies who are directly involved or affect the wider area of Gyaros.

The Consortium will be composed of 15 representatives and the objective of its membership is to represent as fully as possible the central authorities as well as the key stakeholders of local community, such as local municipalities and other regional or authorities, professional and amateur fishermen, tourist business associations, divers, and local and national NGOs.

In order for the Consortium of Stakeholders to exercise effectively its role as the co management and governing body of the MPA, specific protocols will be formulated so as to guide and govern its operation. It will play the central role in the formulation of the necessary conservation and management proposals, as well as on the delineation of the boundaries and the zonation system of the new MPA. Moreover, it will be consulted during its preparation and will contribute in the final formulation of the Special Environmental Study, agreeing upon the required Ecosystem Based Management Plan, which will be part of the official establishment of the Wildlife Refuge and the Marine Protected Area.

The above procedure will ensure the effective operation of the Consortium so as to implement the appropriate strategies, based on the principles of marine spatial planning, and to promote conservation activities and management measures that will secure the protection of the Marine Protected Area and the sustainable development of the local communities.

The main objective of this action is to bring together the key stakeholders in a collaborative structure, the “Consortium of Stakeholders” so as to become acquainted with the project area, to participate in the design and jointly decide on the proposed conservation measures and to share responsibilities as a path to the successful management of the new Marine Protected Area. In fact the ultimate objective of the “CYCLADES LIFE” project is for the Consortium of Stakeholders to become the main body responsible for the management of the new MPA, by implementing, monitoring and evaluating the agreed co-management plan.

Its members will meet at regular intervals, while the open consultation, debate and agreement between institutions, authorities and relevant groups involved directly in the region, is essential, so that the management decisions that will be taken to be applicable and effective towards achieving the balance between the protection and conservation of the marine environment and the sustainable use of marine resources and services.