On 6 May 2022, IUCN-Med organised the roundtable meeting "Sustainable tourism and the management of Mediterranean beaches with Posidonia oceanica: Opportunities for the Costa Blanca". The event, which was hosted by the Municipality of l’Alfàs del Pi (associated partner of POSBEMED2 ), brought together a diverse group of participants including 8 local administrations, scientific experts and representatives of the tourism sector to discuss joint solutions for sustainable management practices that recognise the unique value and character of Mediterranean beaches with Posidonia oceanica in the Costa Blanca region of eastern Spain. The event also saw the public announcement of a new decree to protect Posidonia in the Region of Valencia, to be passed in the next weeks.
The session was inaugurated by Paula Tuzón (Regional Secretary for Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition) and facilitated by the l’Alfàs del Pi town council together with IUCN. The event aimed to promote greater institutional and technical collaboration between beach managers and the tourism sector. A variety of presentations and open dialogue sessions offered participants an opportunity to discussbest practices and strategies for enhancing and supporting the environmental and touristic value of Posidonia beaches.
A key aspect of the meeting was the presentation of the Joint Charter of Commitments for Mediterranean Posidonia beaches, a main output of the POSBEMED2 project. This Charter aims to promote the creation of a network of engaged Mediterranean stakeholders that are committed to taking action for the conservation and preservation of Mediterranean beaches with Posidonia oceanica.
Furthermore, a new Decree for the Protection of Posidonia in the Autonomous Region of Valencia was announced. This Decree will establish the regulatory framework to preserve and reconcile human activities with the natural environment.
As demonstrated by both the participants’ keen interest in the Joint Charter of Commitments as well as the upcoming Posidonia Decree in the Valencian community, the collaboration between tourism, environment and coastal management sectors provides interesting opportunities for developing actions for coastal economies and conservation that take into account the benefits these unique habitats have to offer and promote management practices based in nature.