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Ecosystem Services, Socio-Economic Values and Organizational Profiles of Mediterranean MPAs

WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature


Marine and coastal ecosystems provide a variety of benefits, from food and climate regulation, to the crystal-clear waters and marine landscapes that are the basis for tourism and leisure activities. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are recognised worldwide as fundamental tools to protect these ecosystems, maintaining the value of the services that they produce.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • What are the socio-economic benefits associated with MPAs in the Mediterranean?
  • What are the main international classification systems used to assess ecosystem services?
  • How do local small-scale fishermen and nature-based tourists play a significant role in the socio-economic system around the MPA?

Implementation Context:

This study was drafted in the context of Mediterranean MPAs.

Aspects / Objectives:

This exploratory study aims to identify an adaptive methodology for evaluating key economic benefits, potentially applicable in different Mediterranean MPAs.


The authors identified some key socio-economic and organisational dimensions of MPAs that can affect the effectiveness of marine and coastal ecosystem conservation strategies. The study is based on six case studies.

Main Outputs / Results:

This research has confirmed that the evaluation of MPAs’ ecosystem services and socio-economic benefits is a complex issue. The evaluation of MPAs’ ecosystem services and socio-economic benefits can provide MPA managers and policy-makers with valuable information to make more informed, evidence-based decisions and develop effective strategies.


This practice focuses on the Mediterranean Sea basin and is not transferable to another basin. 

Responsible Entity:

WWF - World Wide Fud for Nature.

Costs / Funding Source:

WWF - World Wide Fud for Nature.

Contact person:

WWF - World Wide Fud for Nature.