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Valletta, Malta, November 6, 2014 – The EU-funded Mare Nostrum Project will hold a special training workshop focusing on applying the principles of PPGIS (Public Participatory GIS), to encourage coastal conservation and improve spatial planning in the Mediterranean Sea.

The workshop, hosted by Mare Nostrum’s Maltese partner Integrated Resources Management  (IRMCo), will take place in Valletta, Malta on November 10–14, 2014. It will bring together partners from Greece, Spain, Jordan, Malta and Israel.

The keynote speaker will be Prof. David Attard, director of the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) and a judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. His presentation will focus on coastal challenges in the Mediterranean. Other presentations will be given by Maltese planning experts and NGOs, as well as Mare Nostrum partners.

During the workshop IRMCo will present and explain the process it has already tested in a pilot PPGIS process which focused on the Grand Harbor in Malta. Presentations will cover techniques to attract and interest the community to ensure participation in round table discussions, details of fieldwork to construct additional maps and the use of interactive tablets through which members of the local community has been empowered to add knowledge and perceptions to these maps.

“The workshop in Malta is an excellent opportunity for all partners to obtain a first-hand impression of how the PPGIS process, also known as local community mapping, should be applied,” said Mare Nostrum project initiator and coordinator Prof. Rachelle Alterman.

“The case study of Malta’s Grand Harbor area highlights the concern of local residents regarding the protection and conservation of remaining open shoreline and can be a model for other communities along the Mediterranean which face similar problems.”