In the first three months from the start of the project, a thorough assessment will be carried out to identify those projects world-wide from which this project will benefit through networking. Contact will be made to introduce the project, its aims and methods, and generally establish a working relationship.
Projects which share the same goals and similar methodology are the Cetaceos Madeira II Project (LIFE07 NAT/ P/000646, 2009-2013),the SCANS-II LIFE project and the Spanish LIFE projects “Conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles in Murcia and Andalusia”, which is now complete, and the currently ongoing LIFE+ INDEMARES. The CetaceosMadeira II Project has already been contacted and has agreed to network with this project. Other projects will be identified throughout the project life-time.
LIFE10 NAT/MT/000090 “Creating an inventory of Marine IBAs for Puffinus yelkouan, Calonectris diomedea and Hydrobates pelagicus in Malta” is also a relevant project to network with. Through the surveys carried out as part of the Marine IBAs LIFE project, a significant amount of information relevant to project MIGRATE can be obtained.
Likewise, project MIGRATE can contribute to the Marine IBAs LIFE project. Networking between the two is therefore of significant importance. In the form provided to volunteers in action E11, Project MIGRATE will include the possibility of recording sightings of the three bird species relevant to this project, thereby contributing to the project by sharing volunteer efforts. Information collected can be referred directly to the lead beneficiary of the project, since the Lead Partners of the two projects enjoy a close working relationship.
MEPA and BirdLife Malta have worked closely together on past projects, including LIFE06/NAT/MT/000097 LIFE+ Garnija, which had gathered some useful anecdotal information relevant to our project through their surveys. This data will be also incorporated in our project.
Project MIGRATE will also work closely and network with the MedPAN North Project which involves a number of other European Marine Protected Areas, allowing increased visibility of the project and the LIFE fund, as well as a good information exchange platform, which will be useful for the implementation of both projects
Through the project, MEPA will continue to work closely with the IUCN, ACCOBAMS, RAC/SPA centre and WWF, as well as research institutions such as the University of Malta. The ACCOBAMS Secretariat has already been notified about MEPA’s intention to carry out this work, and we are also networking in view of regional data available on these species.
If opportunities arise for the project to gain exposure at meetings or workshops organised by such projects, or by relevant networks and conventions, arrangements will be made for the project manager to attend these meetings.
It is expected that such meetings will include attendance to the Turtle Congress, the Annual Cetacean Workshop organised by the Marine Mammal Society and the European Cetacean Society, the International Sea Turtle Symposium, the ACCOBAMS meeting on Marine Protected Areas, the GFCM Meetings on by-catch of cetaceans and/or turtles.
Action E13 is also a good opportunity to strengthen networking between this project and other similar projects. Experts from these projects will be flown over to participate in the workshops, and connections made will be exploited and followed up with exchange visits to the relevant project sites or institutions.