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During recent decades, a reduction in the extent of several natural ecosystems due to human activities and the associated climatic change have caused, on the one hand, a diminishment of biological diversity by driving some species to extinction and, on the other, a loss of intraspecific genetic variability, which allows the species’ adaptation to environment variation, global climatic change, new pathogenic organisms, etc.

In the Mediterranean basin, where the greatest biodiversity in Europe is nowadays concentrated, this environmental menace takes on a particularly significant dimension, given that bioclimatic limiting conditions make natural systems fragile and slow-regenerating. In addition, the ancient humanization of the territory, especially in coastal areas, has provoked the fragmentation of these natural systems and the arising of important degradation processes, two phenomena seriously affecting the richness of our natural heritage. This situation has, in fact, worsened, owing to the recent development of rural tourism, on occasions responsible for the degradation of natural areas previously considered undisturbed.

Given the complexity and geographical dimensions of these phenomena, it is important to avoid operating on a merely regional basis, but rather, to consider actions to be carried out as forming part of a coordinated activity throughout the entire basin.

Faced with this general concern regarding biodiversity degradation, the European project GENMEDOC recognises and defends the need to adopt, throughout the basin, shared guidelines for the management and conservation of genetic material proceeding from the Mediterranean flora.
The GENMEDOC project, co-financed by the European Union, brings together the initiatives dealing with the conservation and valuation of our biodiversity, one of Europe’s environmental priorities and, at the same time, one of the prioritized pivots of the communitarian programme INTERREG IIIB MEDOCC, which supports transnational cooperation projects in the domain of territorial development of western Mediterranean countries.
The valuation, protection and management of our natural inheritance lies at the core of this pivot, which includes the development of European ecological networks (support to NATURA 2000).

Fiche projet GENMEDOC. Appel à proposition 2003-2004 Programme INTERREG IIIB MEDOCC -
Caratterizzazione e valorizzazione delle risorse genetiche vegetali, animali e microbiche: Inquadramento del problema - link

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