TRANSHÁBITAT, “Sustainable Development of the Cross-Border Natura 2000 Net and Habitats of Common Interest in Andalucía-Morocco” is included on the second meeting of the Cross-Border Cooperation Program Spain External Borders (POCTEFEX), a European initiative to improve the partnership between Spain and Morocco through the support of the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).
The Project comes from the need of unify management criteria for Habitats of Interest in the Community which have a common border between Andalucía and North of Morocco. This is an excellent base to promote sustainable social-economic and agricultural development in the neighbouring country, based on benefits and opportunities that comes from valuing natural heritage.
The main objective of TRANSHÁBITAT is to promote social-economic development, improve territorial connectivity and contribute to environmental sustainability and risks prevention. Almería University and CAESCG, as partners in that project, have developed in different ways:
▪ Ecoregionalisation and use and cover mapping of the Rif. This consisted of the division of landscape in ecoregions with an ecological and cultural perspective by identification of environmental homogenous units. This allows us to guide the management, identify indicators of global change evaluation, restore degraded landscapes and sustainable use of natural resources.
▪ Monitoring of habitats and protected areas through teledetection tools. We characterized the functioning of ecosystems on a regional scale and a protected area scale using satellite images. In this way, we established the conceptual and methodological bases for the development of monitoring systems for conservation status of habitats based on their functionality. These attributes allow us to assess the global change effects in a quicker way and easily establish the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystems services.
▪ Proposal of indicators and Handbook for global change monitoring. CESCG is one of the founding institutions of Global Change Observatories Net in Andalucía. We have drawn up a proposal of monitoring indicators that meet with the agreement of scientific knowledge and social awareness management, based on our experience assessing arid and semi-arid ecosystems of Andalucía and developing social processes for production of collaborative knowledge. To do that, we have developed transfer workshops between scientists, managers, and society at large, using Al Hoceima National Park as a framework and an Assessment Guide for Global Change, which offers a wide range of indicators and their applications at Rif
▪ Promotion of employment through a high level training program for global change. The CAESCG, working with the Mohamed I of Moroccan University and Pluridisciplinar Faculty of Nador, have developed a high level training program for global change focused on students, managers and scientists related to environmental management in Morocco. The program was developed in two phases; a theorical and multidisciplinary course at Pluridisciplinar Faculty of Nador (Morocco) and a practical course at Sierra Nevada and Cabo de Gata Parks (Andalucía).
The project ended in the first half of 2014 and its most relevant results have been presented in a general closing meeting of the TRANSHABITAT project which was held on 24th and 25th June at Xauen.
You can check the results in this link.