Over the course of an initial 3-years period, the project will contribute majorly to find common approaches and planning tools to boost sustainable coastal and maritime tourism in the Mediterranean. It will be mainly carried out through the analysis and promotion of the co-evolution of human activities and natural systems in coastal areas, particularly or potentially devoted to tourism.
The overall aim of the MedCoast4BG project is to analyse and promote the co-evolution of human activities and natural systems in coastal areas particularly or potentially devoted to tourism, taking into consideration the overall principles of sustainable development, climate change effects, and governance tools such as Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP).
The conceptual and methodological model elaborated under the EU funded Co-Evolve Interreg Med project concerning mainly EU Mediterranean Coasts, will be further extended to the Southern & Eastern Mediterranean countries involved in the project, taking into account common (at Mediterranean level) but also diverse (at local level) natural, physical and geographic characteristics. This analysis will be complemented by a quantitative evaluation of “tourism sustainability” in selected Pilot Areas on the basis of adequate metrics and tools (e.g. Indicators & Decision Support System).
The final results will be sustainable tourism-driven and oriented action plans:
- demonstrating the feasibility and effectiveness of a planning process on Pilot Areas following ICZM/MSP principles
- showing the importance of local stakeholder’s engagement on key issues for sustainable coastal tourism development.
- preparing for the implementation of concrete pilot actions, such as for examples recovery of beach dunes, dredging with sediment reuse for nourishment, lodging prototypes, differentiated and de-seasonal touristic offer, etc.
The project will contribute in creating conditions for safety, protection, wellness and sustainability-oriented development of coastal areas in the Mediterranean. In particular, the Local Action Plans for tourism development in Pilot Areas identified by the countries involved (prepared by local task forces specifically set up by the project but with a long-lasting horizon and composed by stakeholders and communities involved in the process) will represent a flying-wheel factor for the socio-economic development of local economies, even beyond the tourism sector.
The project has a budget of € 3.085 million, of which the main funding contribution of approximately 2.2 million euros is given by the Co-Evolve project funded by the European Regional Development Fund and by the partners’ own resources.
MedCoast4BG responds directly to the priorities of the Union for the Mediterranean and more specifically to priorities identified in the 2014 UfM Ministerial on Environment and Climate Change and in the 2015 UfM Ministerial on Blue Economy, namely the use of marine spatial planning as a governance tool, mobilizing efforts towards adaptation to the impacts of climate change, and referring to coastal and maritime tourism among the main traditional and emerging economic sectors for the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean Sea.