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Marine Protected areas: The Medfund AFD Biodiversity
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the 35 biodiversity hotspots identified by the NGO Conservation International. It is home to nearly 10% of the world’s marine biodiversity on less than 1% of the ocean surface. A high number of endemic species live there. But they are in danger.

Protecting Marine Life and the People who depend on it

The Mediterranean Basin is heavily populated and its economic development generates pollution, which puts significant pressure on marine and coastal ecosystems. If that were not enough, the Mediterranean is also suffering from the effects of climate change.

To help reverse this trend, AFD provided The MedFund with €4 million in capital last December. The environmental fund was created in 2015 to ensure sustainable financing of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean. It is supported by the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM), the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Government of Monaco. 

MPAs are an effective tool for preserving marine ecosystems. By providing biodiversity protection, sustainable management of natural resources, and environmental services, they have a long-term impact. There are currently more than 1,200 MPAs and OECMs (Other Effective Conservation Measures) in the Mediterranean. They cover about 180,000 km², representing 8% of its surface area.

The MedFund, an initiative of France, Tunisia and Monaco, provides financing for the marine protected areas of the Mediterranean. To date, 3000 km² of marine protected areas financed in the Mediterranean. 

The Medfund has finalized its structuring phase and is already supporting eight MPAs over a five-year period. Four are in Tunisia, two in Morocco, one in Turkey, and one in Albania. Its goal is to support more than 40 by 2030.

AFD’s grant, which marks the first contribution of capital to The MedFund’s endowment fund, will provide long-term support to the managing bodies (NGOs and national authorities) of MPAs in the various Mediterranean countries eligible for official development assistance.
This grant will also encourage The Medfund to promote financing that supports the adaptation of ecosystems and communities to the effects of climate change and, in some cases, to increase atmospheric carbon sequestration.