The ROC-POPLife Project LIFE16 NAT/IT/000816 “Promoting biodiversity enhancement by Restoration Of Cystoseira POPulations”, is a concrete conservation action aiming to restore in two marine Natura2000 sites (that are Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance - ASPIM) the Habitat 1170, by reintroducing Cystoseira . According to the Habitat Directive (92/43/EEC), all the species of the genus Cystoseira are Habitat of Community Interest by the EU (Habitat Reef - code 1170 Annex I of the Habitats Directive ECD 92/43/EEC) and the different species are used for the definition of the NATURA2000 Habitat1170 on the Mediterranean coasts (Italian Interpretation Manual of the 92/43/EEC Directive Habitat). Moreover the target Cystoseira are priority in Habitat 1170 for ASPIM sites.
Cystoseira is listed as strictly protected in the Annex I of the Bern Convention (Council of Europe 1979) and Annex II (List of endangered or threatened species) in the Barcelona Convention; moreover, Cystoseira genus is under surveillance by International Organizations, such as the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), the RAC/SPA (Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas established within the Barcelona Convention), MedPAN (Mediterranean network of MPAs). Finally, the Marine Strategy Framework directive classifies the Cystoseira belts as "Shallow sublittoral rock and biogenic reef" that need conservation and management efforts.