The Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean: Andalusia (Spain) – Morocco (IBRM) has been designated as Case Study 2 of the AQUACROSS project as a showcase to implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy in a transboundary context. This Case Study 2 provides direct recommendations for the establishment of a Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBl) as well as examples of ecosystem-based management for aquatic ecosystems at the IBRM.
The main results of the AQUACROSS Case Study 2, the IBRM, and its Area of Influence – are now available via a dedicated website that follows a storytelling approach. The purpose of the application is to use the power and the flexibility of storytelling to give a direct message and transmit knowledge acquired through the case study.
The IBRM was declared in 2006 in a joint initiative of Spain and Morocco with the support of the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO. The IBRM addresses two major challenges: reinforce the transboundary cooperation for the knowledge and management of ecological and cultural processes; and the implementation of an Ecosystem-based Management approach for the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, favouring the sustainable use of the natural resources. The IBRM is unique in the world. The Reserve spans over two continents, Europe and Africa, and between two seas, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, passing through the marine area of the Strait of Gibraltar.
A large part of the IBRM and its area of influence is under protection although the proportion of protected area differs between both sections of the IBRM: almost 70% in Spain in contrast to Morocco, where only 30% of the region is protected. The region as a whole encompasses several sites with different categories of protection (two previously declared Biosphere Reserves, six Natural Parks, four Natural Sites, one Natural Monument, one Nature Reserve, three Biological and Ecological Interest Sites, one Peri urban protected Area) as well as protected sites that have been declared under the European Natura 2000 initiative (six Special Areas for Bird Protection; 17 Special Conservation Areas).
The website compiling the results of the AQUACROSS Case Study 2 - Intercontinental Biosphere of the Mediterranean, Andalucia (Spain) – Morocco (IBRM) is available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.