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ARENDAL, Norway, 25 May 2022 - Yesterday, GRID-Arendal Associate Expert Alexander Mitrofanenko (Transboundary Governance and Environmental Crime Programme) was invited to present at the workshop "The Benefits of Ecosystem Restoration: A European Perspective" organised by the UN Environment Programme Europe Office and UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in the context of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. He represented the 5 Seas Cooperation for Ecosystem Restoration project, currently in development, as it’s been identified as a potential restoration flagship project.

"It was very empowering to learn about successful ecosystem restoration initiatives across Europe as well as to have the opportunity to present our exciting project and exchange experiences with other participants," remarked Mitrofanenko.

The 5 Seas Cooperation for Ecosystem Restoration project is a new ambitious initiative aimed at promoting advocacy and catalytic support for the application of restoration techniques and approaches in the Baltic, Black, Caspian and Mediterranean seas as well as the North-East Atlantic. It revolves around the creation of a joint programme consisting of the Secretariats of regional conventions covering the European Seas, as well as other relevant stakeholders. The programme will be used for large political actions related to the restoration and preservation of the European Seas’ biological diversity, with focus on Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSA). This includes providing support to the riparian countries in the respective basins in establishing appropriate marine protected areas within the EBSAs (and beyond), to meet the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) post-2020 30% spatial conservation target. Furthermore, the programme will allow for result-oriented trans-basin exchange of information and best practices related to marine ecosystem conservation and restoration.

The 5 Seas project consortium, led by the UNEP Europe Office and GRID-Arendal, has grown to include the UNEP/MAP along with its Regional Activity Centres, the OSPAR and HELCOM Commissions, the Black Sea Commission, the Tehran Convention Secretariat, and the CBD Secretariat. Although the project is still in its initial phases, it has the potential to provide many benefits to biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as socio-economic benefits. Cooperation on such scale and the trans-basin exchange of knowledge can lead to multiple restoration and conservation activities that reinforce each other resulting in enhanced marine biodiversity.

Release date: 25 May 2022


GRID-Arendal's activities are nearly always a cooperative undertaking made possible through collaboration with partners and donors.