Major ecosystem types

Coastal cliffs, coastal, open ocean marine and deep water

Research and monitoring

The research and monitoring programmes undertaken in the past few years and those still ongoing have made it possible to adopt measures to manage species and habitats so as to reduce adverse impacts and regulate activities.

Programmes focusing on terrestrial areas have concentrated mostly on describing the biodiversity and endemisms, and on controlling pests. In terms of the marine environment, programmes have mostly examined the biological resources exploited and on understanding how the ecosystem functions.

Major habitats and land cover types

Terrestrial area – consolidated gravel (regional), skeletal soils (regional), halophytic escarpments (regional) and rocky outcrops (regional). Marine area – Littoral system (regional) and deep sea (regional).

Existing zonation

The proposed zonation includes core areas, buffer zones and transition areas, thus:

Core areas – are those containing natural and landscape assets of recognized interest, including geological, landscape and ecological formations with a high degree of 'naturalness' which, as a whole, are of an exceptional character and exhibit high ecological sensitivity. Human intervention is heavily restricted and is subordinated to the existing natural assets, with which the general uses of land, water and air are incompatible.

Buffer zones - are spaces which contain natural and landscape assets which are, as a whole and from the nature conservation standpoint, relevant or exceptional and exhibit a high or moderate ecological sensitivity, with the maintenance of natural habitats and species being globally compatible with uses that respect the goals of nature conservation and biodiversity.

Transition areas - comprise the environment, transition or damping areas in relation to human activities and coincide with the most intensive use of land and natural resources. The intention is to reconcile human intervention and local social and economic development with the natural and landscape assets and the goals of nature conservation, along with promoting sustainable development through the implementation of appropriate management measures.

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                                                                                         Last updated: February 2013

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