Biodiversity and oceans

Decisions on the use of natural resources determine whether biodiversity endures or disappears

We contribute to the development and implementation of international conventions on biodiversity and the marine environment.

Biodiversity represents the structure of ecosystems and habitats that support the planet’s living resources, including wildlife, the marine environment and forests. It also provides for basic human needs such as food and medicine. Yet its destruction by human activities continues unabated.

Decisions that determine the future of biodiversity are influenced by international law and policy. It is in this area that IIDMA’s work is most relevant, contributing to the development and implementation of international conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Our main lines of action include:

Main Projects

1998 – In the framework of the Earth Council (Costa Rica) Project ‘Creating an International Environmental Ombudsperson’, IIDMA carried out the study “Local Communities and Fishing Disputes in Saharan and Moroccan Waters: Opportunities for New Dispute Resolution Mechanisms” focusing on fisheries relations between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco.

2005 – This project, awarded by the Biodiversity Foundation to IIDMA, focused on the preparation of a study and a practical guide providing information on the legal mechanisms available to citizens. Information focused on tools to prevent damage to the environment, such as public participation mechanisms offered by our legal system and EU and international institutions, and to bring to the attention of the relevant authorities the facts that cause environmental damage. The guide was distributed to 1,500 workers in SMEs and the self-employed throughout Spain.

2007 – Commissioned by the International Organisation Oceana – Europe, IIDMA prepared the report “The Protection of Sharks: a Legal and Policy Analysis” in 2007.

2008 – The main objective of this project has been to contribute to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Maritime Policy of the EC through:

  1. The identification and analysis of the main legal mechanisms existing in the Spanish legal system for the protection and conservation of the marine environment of Spanish waters.
  2. The elaboration of proposals in order to overcome the legal loopholes detected.
  3. The promotion and encouragement of an effective implementation of the regulations for the protection of the marine environment, which will consequently lead to the improvement of marine ecosystems.

This project, carried out by IIDMA during 2008-2009, was supported by Obra Social Caja Madrid and the Oak Foundation. Its development consisted of the preparation of a series of reports; a survey of a hundred professionals related to the management, use and protection of the seas in our country in order to gather information and compare the preliminary results of the project and the convening of a workshop behind closed doors on 8 September 2009, held at the headquarters of the Representation of the European Commission in Spain. In this workshop, thirty professionals from different fields (administrations, research centres, professional and sport fishing, NGOs, renewable energy, etc.) participated and a preliminary version of the Guide “Governance for the Protection of the Marine Environment in Spain: Practical Guide”, was presented in order to reflect their opinions, suggestions and comments. IIDMA aims to provide, through this report, an information and consultation tool that encompasses the main legal tools on the marine environment in Spain, with the aim of facilitating the work of all stakeholders in the planning and management of the marine environment.

2004 – Analysis of the judicial and administrative routes and those within international forums to defend these cetaceans against the use of low-frequency sonar in military manoeuvres. Commissioned by the Fuerteventura Island Council.

2001 – Assistance to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on the enforcement of international wildlife trade controls in the European Union.

Other areas of expertise

Our objective is to contribute to sustainable development and the protection of the planet, through the analysis, implementation and enforcement of the law.

We work on the implementation and development of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, and promote EU policy instruments adopted to meet international climate change commitments.

We promote a structural change in energy systems, focusing our work on the decarbonisation of different sectors.

We contribute to the development of institutional governance systems aimed towards environmental protection.

We contribute to the development and implementation of international Conventions and the main EU Directives in this field.

Help us to continue defending the future of our planet