November 10, 2020 - As one of the ten partners from eight Mediterranean countries implementing the project SHAREMED (Sharing and enhancing capabilities to address environmental threats in the Mediterranean Sea), the Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Montenegro Kotor continues to implement project activities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings and consultations mostly occur online. Still, the partners ensure active cooperation towards the mutual goal- to ensure full engagement in surveillance and protect the endangered Mediterranean basin.
Project Manager from the Institute of Marine Biology, Dr. Slavica Petović, points out that the goal of the SHAREMED project is to connect and increase the capabilities of the Mediterranean, regional and local authorities, as well as the scientific community, for joint assessment and possible mitigation of threats to the Mediterranean ecosystem.
The partners in the project, which officially started on October 1, 2019, and will last for 33 months, are scientific institutes and higher education institutions that deal with research on pressures on the Mediterranean ecosystem and come from Italy, Spain, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, France, Portugal, and Montenegro. The total value of the project, accepted on the topic of Sustainable Tourism within the Interreg Mediterranean Transnational Program 2014-2020, is € 3,100,000.00, of which € 70,000.00 has been allocated to the Institute of Marine Biology.
"The SHAREMED project aims to provide the harmonization of strategies applied in the Mediterranean, in the field of analysis of the marine ecosystem and the system for its protection. The initial meeting was held in Trieste in February this year. Due to the current epidemic, all activities were transferred to the online system," explains Dr. Petović, adding that the project management board meetings are held every month. The implemented activities are summarized, and new ones are planned.
Three research zones have been defined to facilitate the harmonization of the work methodology. The project team is divided into three working groups - for the North Adriatic region, the Sicilian channel, and the North-Western Mediterranean area. The collection of existing data and analysis of applied methods is in progress.
A workshop hosted by the University of Malta is planned for December, where some of the larger Mediterranean projects in ecology, pollution, and protection will be presented to analyze the applied methods and the obtained results. At the same time, each of the partners collects relevant information on the premises.
"One of the project's activities is the recognition and networking of local and national governing bodies and scientific institutions so that the conclusions and recommendations we come to during and after the implementation of the SHAREMED project are incorporated into regional and national policies and consistently implemented. In that sense, the Institute of Marine Biology has recognized all relevant entities in Montenegro. Within the project, we plan to organize a workshop in Kotor to strengthen future cooperation further, "said Dr. Petovic.
Among other things, the SHAREMED project's goal is to create a common database and an atlas of state and warning maps so that phenomena can be integrated and observed through a common portal and improve the ability to predict. The scientists will also explore the potential of new observation methodologies to define maps of the future joint path, guidelines, and action plans.