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Goals and activities

Funded by the INTERREG France (Channel) - England programme, the PANACHE project aimed for better protection of the Channel marine environment by establishing a network among existing marine protected areas.

The twelve partners behind PANACHE are marine environment stakeholders in France and England, i.e. MPA management organisations, environmental protection associations, and marine environment research and discovery centres.

Despite their different nationalities and fields of activity, in 2011 they decided to work hand in hand for the benefit of the marine environment they share. July 2012 saw the beginning of their adventure as the partners set to work to achieve five key goals:

  • Assess ecological coherence across the marine protected area network;
  • Pool and share experience in monitoring these areas;
  • Strengthen coherence and foster interaction for improved marine protected area management;
  • Heighten awareness of marine protected areas: create a sense of ownership and shared expectations through citizen science programmes;
  • Establish a public GIS database.

The project helped build strong, lasting relationships - both among the partners and with other official, scientific and non-governmental organisations (NGO) - to foster best practice and experience sharing.

The Channel provides a unique opportunity to prove that marine biodiversity can be protected, including in an urbanised, commercially viable coastal area.

For years, France and England have worked separately, each one to meet their own needs, under the Habitats and Birds Directives, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and under international conventions (including OSPAR). As they face similar challenges to protect the area's marine biodiversity, PANACHE provided a common, coherent and effective solution.


PANACHE partners at the third meeting, in Boulogne sur Mer, November 2013.

Line Henry / Agence des aires marines protégées

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Protected area designation or category

Designations or categories of protected areas (whether marine or on land) are defined on a national basis. Although categories bearing the same name exist in different countries (such as national parks), they are not identical (the level of protection, management measures and governance, etc. may differ). A designation (or category) is established in a legal, formal manner and nationally recognized as such.

Please also refer to: Understanding the complementary nature of designations

all definitions

updated on 03/05/2015
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