Provincia Regionale di Siracusa, Italy
The project has worked at monitoring the Sicilian and Maltese maritime protected areas to improve management and interaction. The partnership has worked to promote the scientific and environmental value of the areas’ ecosystems through the creation of four Environmental Education Centres (EEC) at the Palermo, Siracusa, Lampadusa and Linosa, and Gozo MPAs. Each centre, open to the public, has been equipped with life size models of the flora and fauna that populate the MPA ecosystems. They have also been equipped with documentaries, edutainment panels, dioramas, and hands-on learning laboratories to accompany the study of the area’s biodiversity. The partnership has promoted through the centres a heightened level of awareness on environmental themes, especially among the Sicilian and Maltese school children who joined in environmental protection campaigns. At the European level, PANACEA was very well received at the “European Day of the Sea”, organized in La Valletta (Malta) in 2013, where maritime experts from all over Europe discussed how to promote the tourism industry as a key factor in contributing to the EU’s Blue development programme.