Criteria for Inclusion of Marine Protected Areas in the RAMPE Network
A royal decree was published on 4 November to establish the criteria for inclusion of marine protected areas in the Network of Marine Protected Areas in Spain (RAMPE).
Stipulations for inclusion of a protected area in the RAMPE network are its singularity and its level of representation, as well as the geological units covered by the Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Act.
The importance of the areas for endangered species and habitats will also be considered, along with their vulnerability, fragility, sensitivity and slow recovery of habitats and species.
Inclusion in the RAMPE network also requires that the extent of an area must be sufficient to guarantee sustaining its physical, geological and biological characteristics and ensure the functioning of its environmental processes.
An area will also be required to have a relevant proportion of habitats and species and appropriate population sizes of species to make it possible to sustain or reach a favorable state of conservation.
The Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Act subsumes the international directives related to marine biodiversity conservation and creates the Marine Protected Area (MPA) as one of the national park categories. It stipulates that the MPAs are to be included in the Network of Marine Protected Areas in Spain (RAMPE).
The Marine Environment Protection Act, which subsumes the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive into the Spanish legal system, creates the RAMPE network and establishes its objectives, the nature areas that make it up and the mechanisms for designation and management.