Why & How

The Posidonia littoral zone (Posidonia-beach-dune system) is a valuable natural asset affected by a variety of impacts and pressures. Drifting vegetation of Posidonia forming banquettes along the beaches is a common feature of many coasts. However, residues of seagrass Posidonia oceanica beached in tourist zones represent often a problem in the Mediterranean. Surveys conducted in the previous initiative POSBEMED (2016-2019) funded by the Interreg Mediterranean programme highlighted the need to promote better management of the Posidonia littoral landscape and banquettes on beaches thru the entire Mediterranean coast. Data gathered about beach management practices revealed that 83% of the surveyed local authorities remove seagrass deposits and banquettes every year on some or all the beaches, including protected areas.

The situation given is that in many Mediterranean countries the management of beaches with banquettes lies with the regional and local governments, where the tourist appeal plays a significant role. On the other hand, the Posidonia littoral zone (Posidonia-beach-dune system) is a valuable natural asset and due to that fact, it is in most of the cases affected. Banquettes, drifting vegetation of Posidonia, are considered nature-based coastal defences that promote protection, enhance dune formation, support biodiversity and minimize beach erosion by linking the marine and terrestrial environment. However, these ecosystem services are often negatively affected by mismanagement practices, such as the one previously mentioned.

The POSBEMED2 project, by implementing testing, intervention measures, preparation of monitoring protocols and management interventions in at least 11 coastal PA sites in Spain, Cyprus, Greece, France, Italy and Croatia has a vision of promoting new approaches and solutions for a sustainable management of Posidonia landscape and beaches with Posidonia banquettes in Protected Areas across the Mediterranean. The project will also create the baseline for a common transnational monitoring programme that will further explore the use of advanced technologies. The broad set of tools and approaches with local stakeholder involvement, and capacity trainings for key groups will promote dialogue processes, engagement and recognition of the role of banquettes in beach ecosystems.