The Mediterranean Basin, its seascapes, landscapes and wetlands, present a microcosm of our planet’s conservation challenges – with human development and tourism threatening its unique collection of plants and animals.
The ecoregion boasts biodiversity on a world-class scale. It has exceptional plant diversity, high levels of endemism throughout taxa. These include highly endangered, charismatic megafauna such as the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monacus monacus), the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus), the Madeira’s Petrel (Pterodroma Madeira) and Egyptian Tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni).
Threatened marine plants include the endemic seagrass (Posidonia oceanica). Its slow-growing meadows play the vital biological and ecological roles of making oxygen and providing a haven for an array of animals to breed, feed and shelter.
For all the Mediterranean’s great variety of life, a combined total of only about 5% of its bordering countries’ territories is under some form of protection. Similarly, at the time of writing, marine protected areas (MPAs) cover less than 1% of the sea.
The Hoffmann family’s long history of work in the region began with the young Luc Hoffmann’s first forays into the Camargue during the late 1940s. Today, MAVA’s interests stretch much wider. They include long-established partnerships, notably in France, Spain and Greece, and growing engagements in the Balkans, the Near East and North Africa, with a focus on the Maghreb. In the future, we anticipate more MAVA support for integrating protected areas into the wider landscape or seascape, and for the sustainable use of natural resources. We also aim to play a role as a convenor and coordinator of our many partners and other stakeholders.
List of countries covered:
Climatic Mediterranean parts of
- North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia
- Middle East: Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Turkey
- Balkan States: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro
- North Mediterranean (EU): Andorra, Cyprus, France, Gibraltar (UK), Greece, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Vatican City