The kick-off meeting of Cairo (2-5 February 2003) introduced the project, and all participant teams presented and discussed the activities they wanted to carry out in the framework of the project. Working plans were disseminated and it was agreed to prepare tables of activities for each task, with details on the compartments of interest and the descriptors to be analysed. A visit to the study site at Rosetta and a banquet in Alexandria took place. The attendants were 30.
The work-together at the Maremma Regional Park, Italy (16-25 May 2003) (photogallery) had the objective to get an integrated and multidisciplinary knowledge of the site and to tune sampling and experimental methods to the local needs on a Mediterranean coast. Overall visits of the natural park were organised guided by local experts, and field work was carried out by international teams integrating multidisciplinary expertise, following a precise schedule. Meetings on specific subjects were held during the period and a final meeting with the staff of the park. The participants were 49, including many students who had an excellent opportunity of training.
The general meeting of Rabat (1-3 December 2003) concluded year one and prepared the activities of year two, with a common discussion of preliminary results, strategies and methodologies. A two day visit at Tétouan and the Moroccan study sites of Smir and Oued Laou (4-5 December 2003). The achievements of the first year were presented, with particular references at the results from the work-together at La Maremma,; plans for the next year were discussed and the research at the Moroccan study site was planned. The attendants were 39.
The work-together at Oued Laou, Morocco (24 April to 3 May 2004) (photogallery): the participants conducted field research at the site and visited the area in mixed teams. Future collaborations to carry on research at the site were organised; issues and potentialities of the area were discussed and stakeholders contacted. The participants were 42.
The general meeting of Tunis (27-29 September 2004) with a one day (30 September) visit to the Tunisian study sites in view of the work-together to be organised in 2005; the finalised results from the Maremma work together were presented and when possible compared with those from Oued Laou. The Tunisian case studies were presented by the local partners and by those who had already started research in Tunisia; the plans for the next year were discussed. The attendants were 51.
A training course on modelling was held after the meeting by Prof. J.C. Marques and Prof. S.E. Jørgensen (Partner 4) to local university students, young researchers and managers of the APAL - 12 participants; the course exploited data bases from the Tunisian case studies.
The work-together at the Tunisian sites (8-17 April 2005) (photogallery) offered the opportunity to conduct research at Tabarka (scuba diving), Tabarka-Bouterfess-Berkoukesh-Zouara coast (beach geological and ecological studies), El Moula-Bouterfess river basin (forest and geology, with risk assessment). It also represented a high education seminar, during which an international team of students and young researchers had the opportunity of learning from reciprocal interactions, from exchanges with professors, expert researchers and coastal managers, representative of the NGO hosting the seminar and the local rural population. A seminar on the education potentialities of the MEDCORE project was organised during a wet day, and a number of projects of environmental education in local schools were proposed.
One was a field excursion to the beach of Zouara with the scholars and teachers of the elementary school of Nefza in June 2005; another project was the adaptation and distribution to Tunisian schools of a book on seagrass meadows. The attendants were 40.
The MEDCORE final conference of Florence (10-14 November 2005) was organised as an international conference open to scientists as well as to environmental managers interested in coastal areas and water issues. Eight sessions of presentations, a poster session and a round table for a “network of Mediterranean coastal protected areas” took place at the University of Florence. A technical excursion was organised to a natural forest and a wetland near Florence, with the collaboration of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato (Report of the Field Excursion by Prof. Réné Maury - in French). A volume of abstracts was printed and distributed, and the Proceedings were published in 2006 (available at http://digital.casalini.it/9788884535573).
"The exhibition "Domestic Mediterranean" (Florence, Italy, 10- 20 November 2005) with 16 panels (2.5 x 1.5 m) presented the project and its outcomes to the public. The exhibition was then showed in Tunis (Tunisia) in December 2005, and in Monteloro (Florence, Italy) in January 2006.