2005-11-25COP 14 very positive for PAP/RAC
The 14th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Regions of the Mediterranean and its Protocols (COP 14) was held in Portoroz, Slovenia, on November 8-11, 2005, under the motto "The sea deserves our voice". This was also the opportunity to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mediterranean Action Plan.
Very important recommendations were adopted by the conference with regard to the PAP/RAC work programme for the next biennium (2006-2007), which will definitely have its reflection in the better management of coastal areas of the Mediterranean in the coming years. First of all, a very positive reaction was received by the delegates concerning the Protocol on ICAM, whose preparation is under the responsibility of PAP/RAC. The meeting decided to establish a working group of experts designated by the Contracting Parties in order to develop a draft text of the Protocol on ICAM with a view to its consideration and possible approval by the COP 15 in 2007. Also, the proposed programme and the budget for the 2006-7 biennium were approved without remarks. In the presentation given by PAP/RAC Director, a number of tools for ICAM and the introduction of new topics, such as marine spatial planning, coastal erosion, coastal landscape management and beach management were underlined as important priorities for the Centre. The continuation of CAMP activities in Cyprus, Spain and Slovenia will be paid a special attention, as well as the preparation of new projects in Morocco and Serbia and Montenegro.
The conference adopted the Portoroz Declaration where the main priorities to orient MAP focus in the biennium to come were agreed. This includes the implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD), the endorsement of National Action Programme (NAP) and the implementation of the Action Plan for monk seal, as well as the preparation of the strategic vision for MAP in the future.
Prior to the COP 14, PAP/RAC Deputy Director attended the Steering Committee meeting for the CAMP Slovenia project, which was held in Piran and where results of individual project activities up to date were presented. The Committee commented and adopted relevant recommendations for the continuation of the project. CAMP Slovenia project was also presented to general public and media as a side event to COP 14 at the press conference on November 7. The project posters and the related power point presentation were also prepared and the participants to COP 14 could follow it on the screen in the conference centre several times during the meeting.
PAP/RAC also participated in other side events, and more actively at the Marevivo (Italian NGO) workshop on "motor-ways of the sea" where the draft ICAM Protocol was introduced.
During the conference PAP/RAC met with many national delegates and a couple of meetings were organised, such as for the CAMP Levante de Almeria, Spain project, where the next steps in the formulation of this CAMP were discussed, in particular, the preparation of the project Agreement and its Terms of Reference where other RACs are involved.
PAP/RAC took the advantage of the presence of delegates from various countries, NGOs, institutions and related partners, and distributed many of its publications and leaflets related to the Centre's projects.
All in all, PAP/RAC can conclude that COP 14 was a very positive event for the future endeavours of the Centre.
In the framework of the Regional Euro-Mediterranean Programme for the Environment (SMAP) a series of national workshops "Environmental Policy Integration and SMAP III" are being organised in various Mediterranean countries by the APAT-Syke Consortium. PAP/RAC participated to the workshops in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and this week, in Algeria, and will also participate at the next one scheduled for the beginning of December in Syria. The Centre promotes the integrated coastal area management (ICAM) approach and in particular the process and details related to the preparation of the ICAM Protocol for the Mediterranean and the ICAM Strategy.
The main objectives of the workshops are to discuss the mechanisms through which sustainable development goals can be promoted effectively in different policy areas at national level; to encourage cross sectoral thinking and inter-sectoral collaboration, thereby supporting SMAP Correspondents’ efforts towards environmental policy integration; and to increase awareness of the SMAP III projects and programme to help in the definition and implementation of sustainable development policies at national level and in the coastal areas. The emphasis is put on the provision of environmental integration tools such as case studies and good practices for sound environmental management and the practical implementation of environmental regulations. Find a more detailed information at www.smaprms.net.
2005-11-21Launching of landscape management activity
The immense diversity of Mediterranean landscapes contributes to local and regional identity, reflecting the past and present relationships between the man and his natural and built environment. However, development pressures have resulted in significant changes of natural and cultural (man-made) landscapes in several coastal areas. In spite of the obligations expressed in the Barcelona Convention, where countries commit themselves "to promote nature, and protect and enhance sites and landscapes of ecological or cultural values", very little has been done up to date on this topic. A plethora of existing landscape-specific methodologies and concepts (such as landscape planning, vulnerability studies) have not been introduced or taken into account. Also, knowledge of the landscape typology of the Mediterranean is not adequate, nor are the main processes and forces influencing landscape transformation.In order to bridge this gap, the Contracting Parties adopted (Catania, 2003) the recommendation 'to undertake thematic studies with a view to developing relevant guidelines and action plans on the issue of coastal land and sea environment and the utilisation of its resources'. i.e. landscape. As a first step to meet the above request, an expert meeting will be organised by PAP/RAC on January 9 -10, 2006 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Prior to this meeting two position papers were prepared as background documents. The objectives of the meeting are to present and discuss the position papers with a view of their relevance for launching the landscape management activity; to get an overview of landscape planning methodologies and case studies; and to discuss and propose concrete activities for landscape management activity in the Mediterranean coastal areas.
PAP/RAC Director attended the Ocean Policy Summit, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal from 10 -14 October 2005. The Summit was opened by Mr. D. Freitas do Amaral, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs of Portugal. The event brought together more than 200 participants from 53 countries, with governments, regional organisations, UN agencies, academia, NGOs and industry represented. The EU Commissioner, Mr. Borg, participated as well.
Director presented the draft ICAM Protocol. His presentation "Mediterranean Innovation: Regional Protocol on Integrated Coastal Management" was very well received by the participants and a good discussion followed. In addition to the formal panel discussions, working groups, such as "Ocean Strategy Workshop: Revised agenda", considered key questions related to coastal management. The Summit was a very positive experience for MAP and PAP/RAC in particular, as the process of the preparation and adoption of the protocol was found very innovative.
In order to streamline international and regional efforts to combat land degradation; harmonise methodologies for data collection and analysis; and to better utilise potential available funds to combat land degradation; PAP/RAC and FAO are aiming to use the same methodologies for land degradation assessment and management of degraded areas. An extensive history of the co-operation between the two institutions has already resulted in a number of methodologies, projects, publications and similar outputs. The Regional Workshop to Present PAP/RAC - FAO Experiences in Combating Land Degradation in Mediterranean Coastal Areas, which will take place October 10-12, 2005 in the FAO premises in Rome is a step further.
The aims of the workshop are to find the best way to harmonise land degradation assessment methodologies, disseminate the experience accumulated jointly by PAP and FAO during almost 15 years of co-operation, experience that should be regarded as a capital to develop further and to build upon. More precisely, the objectives are:
- to present background information on land degradation and land degradation assessment, including biophysical and socio-economic factors
- to present the LADA methodological framework and experiences in selected countries
- to present the results from the PAP/RAC projects
- to evaluate the implemented projects and make recommendations for improvements or further developments to complete the work on land degradation assessment
- to draw concrete recommendations on the ways of harmonising methodologies in the Mediterranean countries
- to draw concrete recommendations on how to integrate the data gathered by PAP/RAC projects with regional/international land degradation databases
- to envisage a stronger integration of PAP and FAO activities to combat land degradation, including desertification, and
- to elaborate proposals for new projects related to land degradation.
Invited are participants from various interest groups: the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention (all Mediterranean countries and the EU), international organisations (FAO, UNCCD, UNEP, UNDP, METAP, MAP and its Centres, Desertlinks, World Food Programme), NGOs and potential donors. In all, some 60 participants are expected to attend.
The project "Neretva and Trebisnjica River Basin Management" intends to improve water resource management on the river basin and transboundary level, laying the basis for efficient and equitable water allocation amongst users and for improved health of the ecosystems on which the sustainable economic growth of the project area depends. The project has been accepted into the GEF Pipeline and is fully consistent with the European Union (EU) Water framework Directive (WFD). Two countries involved, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, have expressed their willingness to proceed with the conservation of the Neretva river basin and the wise use of its resources, and to collaborate with each other in the process. GEF and WB will assist the two governments in preparation of the Management Plan for Neretva-Trebisnjica River Basin. Project will be implemented in the period 2006-2011, building on on-going reforms of the countries' water sector and existing scientific, technical and information capacities of relevant institutions. The role of PAP/RAC in this phase was to assist Bosna-S from Sarajevo in preparing the project proposal to GEF.
2005-06-27Very fruitfull Workshop in Oristano
The Consultative Workshop on ICAM Protocol that took place in Oristano, Sardinia, 24-25 June 2005 was very fruitfull. It was attended by 42 participants from 14 countries and the EU, all the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention. Present were also representatives of the Region of Sardinia, Province of Oristano, the IMC - International Marine Centre, the Institute of Marine Sciences, SIL - Oristano and the AMP of Sinis Mal di Ventre, all from Sardinia, University of Venice, MEDU and ERS/RAC.
The first day, the draft Protocol was presented and discussed "part by part". Participants provided the meeting with valuable comments and suggestions on how to improve the draft text. In general, there was a great consensus about the proposed provisions, however, proposals were made for some clarifications and/or better balance of the text in some articles, or for more flexibility to be left for the countries were given, for example when defining the terrestrial part of the coastal zone.
The second day, thirteen (13) countries presented the answers of an "Early Screening Test" distributed to participants some weeks before the workshop in order to provide some written inputs and opinions about applicability and implementability of some specific provisions in their countries. Very good proposals and comments were provided, which will be taken into account when finalising the draft Protocol in the months to come. The workshop, in its last part, was devoted to the case of the Region of Sardinia. Presentations and the discussion provided some good input for the Protocol from the regional (i.e. sub-national) level of authority point of view. The Report will be available soon.
2005-06-24CoastLearn final workshop
The final workshop of the CoastLearn - Development of Trans-national Networks took place in Antalya (Turkey) from 8 -11 June 2005. The main objectives of the meeting were to finalise the action plan, to evaluate the CoMPAS simulation game and exploring possibilities of its further upgrade, and to discuss the project follow-up. Partners from Croatia, EUCC, Latvia, Lithuania Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Turkey participated at the workshop.
CoastLearn is a distance Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) vocational training package that makes extensive use of the electronic media. The package is tailored to the training and technical needs of countries in transition, and aims to target coastal managers and planners working at local, sub-national, and national levels. The secondary target groups are universities and NGOs. It is an on-line, free of charge and flexible training tool.
Coastlearn is a multilingual tool, being already available in English, Polish, Turkish and French. Currently a Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and a Bulgarian version are under development. In addition, CoastLearn aims to exchange knowledge and practice experience, support ICZM processes and promote trans-national and trans-sectoral networks.
Prior to presenting the final draft of the Protocol for coastal zone management to the Contracting Parties at their Ordinary meeting in November 2005 in Portoroz, Slovenia, a number of preparatory activities have already taken place. The Regional Forum on ICAM was organised in Cagliari, Sardinia, in May 2004 that provided valuable suggestions to the Working group, which was established to prepare the draft text. Several expert meetings with the working group were organised that facilitated the drafting process. The draft text with the commentary was presented to the Focal Points of PAP, ERS and BP RACs in Nice in May this year.
The next step in the consultation process will be a regional consultative workshop to be held in Oristano, Sardinia, Italy on June 24-25, 2005. Invited are representatives of all Mediterranean governments and experts, be coastal managers, spatial planners or legal experts in the environmental/spatial field. The objective of the workshop is to improve the draft version of the Protocol in order to come to as much harmonised and concerted text as possible.
2005-05-23PAP/RAC successful at Focal Points meeting
Joint Meeting of the National Focal Points of BP/RAC, ERS/RAC and PAP/RAC was held in Nice, 12-15 May 2005. The main objective of the meeting was to review the activities undertaken by each RAC in 2004-2005, to discuss the Programme of work for the biennium 2006-2007 and to present and discuss some RAC specific projects. In the case of PAP/RAC two important items were discussed, namely the draft Protocol for coastal zone management in the Mediterranean and an outline of the ICAM and CAMP Strategy.
PAP/RAC work in the current biennium was very well received and lots of warm congratulations and positive feedbecks were received from all participants who underlined the expansion and the amount of activities undertaken by rather limited human and other resources. The Programme for the next biennium was also appreciated and no major critics or amendments were proposed.
The draft ICAM Protocol was also welcomed and majority of speakers considered this project to be a very important initiative and commended the highly professional quality of the draft. Some reservations and suggestions for improvements were also expressed, which will assist PAP/RAC in finalising the document for the Contracting Parties in November 2005.
As far as the outline of the Strategy for ICAM, many FPs welcomed the very clear structure and organisation of the document. The main question that arose concerned the relationship between this particular Strategy, the MSSD and the ICZM Strategy called for in the draft Protocol. It was decided that this document would guide the work of PAP/RAC in the promotion of ICAM in the Mediterranean, and it would be reviewed once the Mediterranean Strategy called for in the draft Protocol had been adopted and that it would then be appended to the MSSD.
The Report of the meeting is supposed to be shortly provided by the MAP Secretariat.
2005-05-18BARE workshop in Malta
Under the aegis of the Mediterranean Action Plan, the Priority Action Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC) has launched a regional study (2004/2005) to evaluate the state of beach management in the Mediterranean. The project is based on recent research that has resulted in the development of a Bathing Area Registration & Evaluation (BARE) technique that assesses beach quality in an objective manner and facilitates beach management through consideration of beach quality and/or shortfalls in a wide spectrum of beach types (resort, urban, village, rural and remote).
In the context of this PAP/RAC project, a Workshop on the Application of the Bathing Area Registration & Evaluation (BARE) System in Mediterranean Coastal States will be organised on June 10-11, 2005, in Malta. Fifteen Mediterranean countries have nominated their representatives to participate in the Workshop. The participants will make brief presentations on beach management practice and policy in their countries and participate in a discussion of the BARE technique that will be presented during the meeting.
2005-04-08Workshop on ICAM Strategy
The Report of the Expert Workshop to Prepare the ICAM Strategy in the Mediterranean, held in Split 17-19 March 2005, is now available.
2005-03-08Draft ICAM Protocol available now
A new version of the draft ICAM Protocol is now available on this site, including the Commentary. It is a result of the third meeting of the ICAM Protocol Working Group, which took place on 17-18 February 2005 in Paris. By mid-April the English text will also be provided.
This draft is going to be presented at the PAP/RAC Focal Points Meeting to take place on 12-15 May 2005. Later, this draft will also be presented and discussed at a Regional consultative workshop, as a part of the consultation process to improve the draft, which will eventually be presented to the Contracting Parties at their Ordinary Meeting in November.
You are kindly invited to send us comments on the present draft and suggestions for its improvement, which will be considered and taken into account in the next 'drafting' steps.
At the meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention in Catania (2003) a request has been made to the Secretariat of MAP (PAP/RAC) to prepare the Regional (Mediterranean) Strategy for Integrated Coastal Area Management (ICAM) and Coastal Area Management Programme (CAMP), ensuring a strong synergy with the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development" (MSSD). The later is being prepared in the framework of the MCSD and will also be presented to the CP at the next meeting in November 2005.
To this end PAP/RAC is initiating the preparation of this document and the first step will be an Expert Workshop, which will take place on 17-19 March 2005 in Split, Croatia. The workshop will discuss the structure and the contents of this document in order to provide the concrete proposals to a drafting team to be established. It will be composed of 2 experts, which will draft the text according to the suggestions given at the workshop.
The Drafting Group for the ICAM Protocol has prepared the second draft of the Protocol on the basis of the discussions and recommendations of the previous meeting. This improved version will be discussed at the third meting to take place 17-18 February in Paris.
After, the draft Protocol will be open to the public in general and to the governmental and other experts for comments and further improvements. In May it is going to be presented to the PAP/RAC Focal Points at their meeting, and soon after, a Regional consultative workshop is envisaged to take place, tentatively in Italy.
2005-01-18Spain decided to change the CAMP area
The Spanish authorities informed MAP that they decided to change the CAMP area and asked to commence with preliminary activities for this new area. The area to be covered by this CAMP would be the whole coastal area of Cabo de Gata and the coastal area included in the SPAMI “Fondos Marinos del Levante Almeriense” and related areas in the hinterland. It belongs to the region of Andalucia.
As you may know the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention at their Ordinary Meeting (Catania, 11-14 November 2003), took note of the Feasibility Study prepared for the CAMP Mar Menor in Murcia and asked PAP/RAC to co-ordinate activities in order to launch the project in Spain. In the meanwhile, due to governmental changes, a decision was made by national and regional authorities in Spain to change the CAMP area. Following the request of the Spanish authorities and the decision of the Contracting Parties to initiate preliminary activities in Spain, MAP decided to prepare a new Feasibility Study for the Cabo de Gata region. Therefore, PAP/RAC started activities in this direction.
2005-01-11First draft of ICAM Protocol discussed
The second meeting of the Working Group to prepare the text of the ICAM Protocol was held in Athens, 4-5 January 2005. After some years of initial discussions on the need for this protocol and preparatory activities, such a complex legal instrument has seen the light for the first time, in its draft shape. Legal and technical (ICAM) experts, as well as representatives of MEDU, discussed the general structure of the draft protocol and made comments and suggestions on the contents of individual articles and provisions. The meeting was a very fruitfull one, which provided the Working Group with the substantial elements for the second, improved, draft to be reviewed at the next expert meeting in the second half of February.