Our new web site is available at: paprac.org
  • 2016-12-15
    Erasmus Mundus Master Course on MSP

    We are glad to announce the Call for application for the Erasmus Mundus Master Course on Maritime Spatial Planning (EMMCMSP), 2017/2019.

    The two-year English-taught master course is delivered by the IUAV University of Venice (Coordinator), the University of Azores and the University of Seville, supported by a MSP Consortium of 10 Public and Private Institutions from worldwide. The course is supported by the EACEA Agency of the European Union with full scholarships (including travel costs and health insurance for the EU and non-EU students, with the Additional Mobility Schemes for students from specific regions of the world, such as the countries of the Mediterranean, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, Latin America, South Africa, the Gulf Countries, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific countries.

    Within the EMMCMSP it is possible to become part of the EMMCMSP Consortium to take part to the activities, as for example hosting EMMCMSP students for the 6-month internship.

    The new deadline for student application is 23 January 2017.

    For more information about programme layout, the MSP Consortium and opportunities to be part of it, application procedure, student services, financial info and scholars application, please, visit the website:



    Info and contacts: erasmusmundus.msp@iuav.it

  • 2016-12-12
    EcAp for the Mediterranean

    SPA/RAC is pleased to share with us its short film entitled "EcAp for the Mediterranean" developed in the framework of the EcAp-Med II Project. This animated film was screened for the first time during the 2016 Forum of MPAs in Tangier (28 November – 1 December 2016.

    The film is available in English (https://youtu.be/sR5wE0kB_rc/) and in French (https://youtu.be/fFVQcpuGnT0/)

  • 2016-12-02
    Algeria ratifies the Prevention and Emergency Protocol of the Barcelona Convention

    Algeria has ratified the "Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Preventing Pollution from Ships and, in Cases of Emergency, Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea" (Prevention and Emergency Protocol). The country deposited the instrument of Ratification on 14 November 2016, as confirmed by the Government of Spain, Depositary of the Barcelona Convention.

    The Prevention and Emergency Protocol will enter into force for Algeria on 14 December 2016. Its ratification demonstrates Algeria’s continued commitment towards the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols. Having already adopted its National Contingency Plan in 1994, and ratified a number of International instruments to protect the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment, Algeria is undoubtedly a key actor in the prevention of and response to marine pollution from ships at the sub-regional, regional and international levels.

    Under this important Protocol of the Barcelona Convention, the Parties commit to cooperate to implement international regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from ships, and to take all necessary measures in cases of pollution incidents.

    The protocol was adopted by the Conference of the Plenipotentiaries held in Malta in 2002, and entered into force in 2004. To date, it has been ratified by Algeria, Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Slovenia, and Spain, approved by France and the European Union and adhered to by Montenegro, Syria and Turkey.

  • 2016-11-25
    Regional meeting of the Mediterranean Basin Ecosystem Profile (CEPF)

    The Mediterranean basin is one of the most remarkable biodiversity hotspots of the planet due to its great biological diversity and spectacular landscapes, where most of the pressures are concentrated in the coastal zones. This status of the Mediterranean basin, as well as its unique biological, economic and cultural importance, led CEPF to create a conservation strategy for the entire Region, known as the Mediterranean Basin Ecosystem Profile.

    As part of its strategy which focuses on enabling the civil society participation in biodiversity conservation, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), in collaboration with AGIR and BirdLife, and with the support of MAVA and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, organised a regional meeting on updating of the Ecosystem Profile for the Mediterranean Basin and evaluating the first phase of CEPF investment. The meeting was held on 25 and 26 November 2016 in Tangiers, Morocco.

    50-odd representatives from the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East discussed how and where to continue to invest, in the best way for the CEPF, in nature conservation and strengthening of the civil society in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot. During the meeting, strategic directions were refined, while the process of investment priorities and update of the Mediterranean Ecosystem Profile was designed for a new phase of CEPF investment in the Mediterranean. The CEPF team will now review all the inputs, comments and suggestions brought to the table during the two day participatory workshop to draft a final version of the strategic document for the next investment phase. The participants, as well partners who could not attend the meeting, will be consulted to comment this consolidated version. PAP/RAC will now be one of the members of the Advisory Committee for CEPF-Med.

  • 2016-11-18
    The Mediterranean at Climate Change COP 22: Time for Action!

    In the framework of the Climate Change COP 22, held in Marrakesh, Morocco, the United Nations Environment Programme / Mediterranean Action Plan – Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention had a series of side events. The first one was organized on 11 November 2016, with its Plan Bleu and Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centers around the “Mediterranean Climate Change Adaptation Framework”. It aimed at presenting the instruments developed by the MAP-Barcelona Convention, the analyses and results obtained through the work in the Mediterranean region in terms of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

    Mr. Gaetano Leone, UNEP/MAP Coordinator presented the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework, adopted by the 19th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention. He highlighted concrete solutions to support Parties in their practical implementation of the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework and of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol, which entered into force in 2011 and has been ratified to date by 9 Mediterranean countries and the EU. He said: “We are currently mobilizing the resources to support countries in taking this action and we are joining hands with a number of partners in responding within the framework of the Paris Agreement and of the Mediterranean Climate Change Framework, to the challenges of climate change”.

    Ms. Daria Povh Skugor, Senior Programme Officer at the Priority Actions Programme/Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC), presented the specific case of the Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County, Croatia, which is a concrete demonstration of the relevance of the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), for Climate Change in the Mediterranean region.

    Ms. Anne France Didier, Director of Plan Bleu, presented the “Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025” (MSSD) and the work of the MAP Components highlighting that the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal areas are part of the "nature-based solution" to adapt to Climate Change.

    Climate change could exacerbate existing stresses and inequalities within and among countries. Providing an example of action and implementation at the national level, Ms. Catherine Chabaud, Delegate to the sea and the coast at the French Ministry of Environment, presented the Mediterranean Plan for Blue Growth. This national initiative of regional cooperation is part of the coalition on Oceans and Climate of UNFCCC COP21, and builds on existing programmes and projects developed at national and regional level, and takes particularly into account UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention activities and actions.

    Recent research results on the impacts of climate change on the Mediterranean Sea were also presented by the Mediterranean Institute for Oceanography in the same side event. Mr. Leone was also invited to the closing session of the "Ocean Day" at COP22, which focused on action in the Mediterranean. After the introductory statements by Minister Segolene Royal of France and Prince Albert of Monaco, he presented the framework of the MAP-Barcelona Convention, its instruments and work, and recent results of the mobilization of resources for action, namely the approval of the GEF-funded MedProgramme, the Cooperation Agreement between Italy and UNEP/MAP, and the relevant projects that were recently approved and whose implementation has started. Mr. Leone said: "The MAP-Barcelona Convention system continues to be the unique framework, with its legally-binding instruments and its capacity to mobilize political will and cooperation around the basin, for action. The initiative of France with Monaco and Morocco for a set of activities supporting Blue Growth is well inscribed in this framework". The event was closed by Minister Hakima El Haité of Morocco who referred to the urgency of responses in the Mediterranean to the challenges of climate change. "

    Climate change and variability is becoming increasingly evident. According to observations and studies referenced in recent IPCC reports, the Mediterranean region will be heavily impacted by climate change during the 21st century.

  • 2016-11-12
    PAP/RAC at COP22 in Marrakech

    According to Ms. Hakima El Haite, Moroccan Minister Delegate in Charge of Environment, between 25,000 and 30,000 people are expected to take part in the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bab Ighli, Marrakech, from 7 to 18 November 2016. These figures confirm that climate change and variability is becoming increasingly evident: according to observations and studies referenced in recent IPCC reports, in recent decades, summer heat waves’ intensity, number, and length have increased alongside extreme precipitation events and soil dryness. The Mediterranean region will be heavily impacted by climate change during the 21st century: climate change could exacerbate existing stresses and inequalities within and among countries.

    Coastal zones will be particularly impacted with the expected sea-level rise. That is why PAP/RAC representatives took part in two side events of the COP22, both held on 11 November 2016:

    - the UNEP/MAP side event to present the instruments developed within the Barcelona Convention and concrete solutions to support the Contracting Parties in their practical implementation of the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework and the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol, the latter offering a set of instruments to reduce the impacts of climate change in coastal areas, in particular with regard to coastal urbanization whose trend has been the strongest in the zone closest to the sea, which is at the same time the least desirable for development considering the sea-level rise. One of these instruments are coastal plans that integrate climate change considerations, like the one for the Croatian coastal County of Šibenik-Knin presented during the side event;

    - the side event organised by the Tunisian Coastal Agency (APAL) and UNDP in the Tunisian pavilion with the view to strengthen national and local capacities of the country to adapt to climate change in coastal areas and to improve the process of programming, monitoring and coordinating the interventions at the level of the Tunisian coastal zone. The ratification of the ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention was deemed as one of the key steps for addressing the climate change challenge and the national ICZM strategy as one of the major instruments to prevent and reduce its impacts. This side event was also an occasion for the Tunisian partners to announce the organisation in their country in 2017 of a regional conference on innovation and adaptation to climate change in coastal zones.

  • 2016-11-08
    Area of Reghaia’s coastal plan classified as protected area

    In 2015, the activity on Reghaia’s coastal plan coordinated by PAP/RAC ended with the validation by the steering committee of the final document including 21 recommendations. One of them, the promulgation of a decree classifying the zone as a nature reserve, was considered as a priority transversal action. Today, PAP/RAC has the pleasure to inform you that the document did not remain a dead letter because the area, which includes both a terrestrial and a marine part, was classified as protected area by a special degree of the Wali of Algiers. This decision testifies of the post-project involvement of local actors in the implementation of measures recommended by the plan, and shows once again that Algeria has decided to protect its outstanding coastal natural heritage.

  • 2016-11-08
    ICZM & MSP – a meter for Blue Economy

    The 2nd meeting of the Blue Economy Working Group took place in Brussels on 8 November 2016, under the Jordanian and European Commission Co-Presidency, in close collaboration with the UfM Secretariat. That was an occasion for the participating country delegates and representatives of international organisations and fora to hear about the state of play and planning actions related to the implementation of the UfM Ministerial Declaration on the Blue Economy adopted in Brussels in November 2017. In particular, updates was presented on: the Virtual Knowledge Centre for the Mediterranean (VKC Med) handover to the UfM Secretariat; the maritime initiative on sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean; and the maritime skill development initiatives.

    Mr. Gaetano Leone, UNEP/MAP Coordinator, and Ms. Željka Škarièiæ, PAP/RAC Director, attended the Working Group in order to ensure synergy with the UNEP/MAP work. Recalling the legal framework provided by the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, they informed the participants on the most recent achievements including the adoption of the MSSD and Regional Framework for Climate Change, the work on the Regional Framework for ICZM and MSP, and the approval of several important projects by UNEP/GEF and EU. The PAP/RAC Director also made a presentation on experiences in implementing the ICZM Protocol and the need to extend the work to the sea side by intensifying the consideration of land-sea interactions and ICZM-MSP complementarity.

  • 2016-11-03
    First meeting of the County Committee for ICZM

    On 3 November, the first meeting of the recently established Committee for ICZM was held at the premises of the Šibenik-Knin County. The County Prefect expressed his satisfaction to have the first County Committee in Croatia, just as the Šibenik-Knin County is the first Croatian County that has a Coastal Plan. The Committee was established with the adoption of the ICZM Plan by the County Council, and led by the County Prefect. Representatives of the Committee were proposed within the Plan, as follows:

    A representative of the County Department for Agriculture was also present at the meeting, as well as a representative of the City of Vodice which was proposed as a possible site for applying the integrated approach in adaptation to climate variability and change. At the meeting, the draft Action Plan was presented, and the members were invited to provide comments and to confirm their leading role in implementing individual measures. Another objective of the meeting was to inform each other on current activities related to the coast, and to identify synergies. Information was exchanged on the current project proposals in preparation by different institutions, and ideas born on possible collaboration. During the meeting, the Plan’s Atlas was also presented, which raised lots of interest by all members. Members agreed on the usefulness of this meeting and raised hopes to meet again very soon, to adopt the Statute of the Committee and the Action Plan.

  • 2016-10-31
    ICZM brings NGOs together for the protection of coastal zones in North Africa

    In the framework of the implementation of the CEPF funded project “Effective integration of the integrated coastal zone management approach in the coastal areas in North Africa, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia”,the WWF North Africa, organised in partnership with the Tunisian Agency for Coastal protection and planning (APAL), a regional workshop focused on the exchange of experiences between NGOs and government representatives from the 3 countries, on October 25, 26 and 27 in Hammamet, Tunisia.

    The workshop objectives were:

    - presentation of the experiences of the actors in the taking action for the conservation of coastal areas in all three countries;

    - sharing experiences and knowledge;

    - strengthening cooperation and partnership between the different actors of the project from public, private and civil sectors;

    - creation of a network of NGOs to support the ratification of ICZM Protocol, and the implementation of its principles.

    The first morning, M. Faouzi, Director of WWF North Africa opened the meeting. Welcome addresses were addressed by M. Essid, Chef de Cabinet of the Tunisian Minister for local affairs and environment and Ms. Tliche, Director of APAL and M. Petit, Programme officer at PAP/RAC. They all insisted on the importance of the project, seeking to give more visibility to NGOs’ actions and building capacities in ICZM.

    The Chef de cabinet highlighted the need to activate the ICZM Protocol, and bring coastal protection to a higher level of priority on the governmental and public agenda in Tunisia. During her intervention, Ms Tliche, provided an overview of the problems of APAL, which unable the agency to carry out the tasks entrusted to her, the definition of the coastal limits being the key problem. She insisted on the need to work on the preparation of a national strategy, and insisted on the importance of experience sharing in the Maghreb region.

    Mr. Petit presented PAP/RAC’s actions in the framework of the Barcelona Convention, which support the implementation of the ICZM Protocol in the Region, at national and local level : guidelines for the definition of national ICZM strategies, National ICZM strategies in Algeria, Montenegro and Croatia, local coastal plans and CAMP projects.

    The workshop was attended by 40-odd representatives of the public sector and governmental agencies from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. A wide range of actions were discussed and experiences exchanged in the field of costal preservation and sustainable development.

    The basis of a network of NGOs was discussed and established between the participants, which will help the partner organisations to strengthen their local actions and visibility and build joined activities to advocate for the implementation of ICZM principles on the ground.

  • 2016-10-28
    Towards monitoring of Mediterranean coastal zones

    On 26 and 27 October 2016, the first training workshop on indicators related to coast and hydrography was organized in Rabat, Morocco, in the framework of the EcAp Med II project. In addition to two PAP/RAC representatives and three experts, four national consultants nominated by their government, two representatives of the Moroccan Ministry of Environment and a UNEP/MAP expert attended the workshop.

    In the IMAP adopted by the COP 19, 27 indicators were identified as relevant to estimate the good environmental status of the Mediterranean coastal zones and sea. This workshop was dedicated to three of them, as follows: “Length of coastline subject to physical disturbance due to the influence of manmade structures”; “Location and extent of the habitats impacted directly by hydrographic alterations; and “Land use change”. PAP/RAC experts presented the indicators individually to define precisely the monitoring arrangements, and provided concrete examples of their use in some countries already implementing them. Country experts exchanged afterwards on national experiences in that field. The workshop was concluded with a presentation of UNEP/MAP expert on evaluation of capacity needs to carry out the project. One of the main requests formulated by national experts was the constitution of a sub-regional expert group for a better coordination of the monitoring. This very dynamic workshop enabled the establishment of a sound basis that will allow experts to start the preparation of national monitoring programmes for these indicators, which is a step forward towards a harmonized and efficient monitoring of Mediterranean coastal zones.

  • 2016-10-22
    Marko Prem, Ph.D

    We are pleased to share with our friends and colleagues good news: Marko, our Deputy Director, has completed his doctorate studies with the University of Primorska, Slovenia. His dissertation was entitled “Instruments for the Protection of the Coastal Zone of Slovenia“. He was awarded his diploma at a ceremony organised on Wednesday, October 19 in Koper. We are very proud of him!

  • 2016-10-21
    Slovenia’s steps towards MSP

    Under the EU Directive on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Slovenia has the obligation to prepare the Marine Spatial Plan. This is also a requirement of the ICZM Protocol where the land-sea interactions are even strongly requested to be adequately dealt with. In order to respond to both, and in particular to integrate the ICZM Protocol obligations, PAP/RAC was invited to the meeting that took place at the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, Directorate for spatial planning, on 20 October 2016. The main objective was to discuss the implementation of the MSP Directive and the ICZM Protocol with the focus on the preparation of the MSP for Slovenia. In addition to representatives of the Directorate, the consultants from the Urban Planning Institute of Slovenia and the Geodetic Institute of Slovenia, who are drafting the concept for MSP in Slovenia, a PAP/RAC expert attended the meeting. After a presentation on ICZM, and in particular its relationship to MSP given by PAP/RAC Deputy Director, as well as the progress on the preparation of the Regional Framework for ICZM and MSP in the Mediterranean, a constructive and very rich debate developed. This provided the national consultants to better frame various aspects of MSP when developing the output envisaged for the Directorate. Links to a number of PAP/RAC reports were provided as a source of information, as well.

    PAP/RAC will continue providing technical assistance to the countries when implementing the ICZM Protocol and in particular for the emerging issues, such as MSP.

  • 2016-09-28
    The Mediterranean celebrates Coast Day “Blue economy for a healthy Mediterranean”

    For the 10th consecutive year, the Mediterranean celebrated the Coast Day on 27 September this year in Barcelona under the theme ”A blue economy for a healthy Mediterranean”. It was co-organised by PAP/RAC, Plan Bleu and SCP/RAC, and co-sponsored by the MAVA foundation, an environmental philanthropic organization from Switzerland.

    The celebration, opened by Ms. Zeljka Skaricic, PAP/RAC Director, was attended by representatives of Mediterranean States, UNEP/MAP and its components, Mediterranean national and international organisations, NGOs, as well as local society members. In the opening ceremony the participants were greeted by Mr. Jaume Barnada, Ecology, Urbanism and Mobility, City of Barcelona, Ms. Marta Subirà, Secretary for Environment and Sustainability, Government of Catalonia, Ms. Ana García Fletcher, Associate Deputy Director for the Coastal Protection DG for the Sustainability of the Coast and the Sea, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain, and Special Representative Ambassador Mr. George Saliba, from the UfM Secretariat.

    Mr. Gaetano Leone, UNEP/MAP Coordinator, sent a video message welcoming the participants to the celebration and reminded them that since 2007 the Coast Day had been a way for the entire MAP system to share the ideas about the coastal zone development and protection, but also about collaboration and friendship. Encouraging countries to help for the ratification of the ICZM Protocol adopted in 2008, Mr. Leone added that new tools continue to be developed, most recently the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development adopted by the contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention in February 2016, which encompasses the entire range of measures for the protection of the marine and coastal environment and for the sustainable development of this region, in line with the global goals and aspirations that the United Nations have agreed upon in their 2030 agenda for Sustainable development.

    The first part of the day was dedicated to presentations and debate around the concept of Blue Economy in the Mediterranean, as well as discussion on good examples and best practices from leading businesses, NGOs and public agencies from all over the Mediterranean. It also included a dialogue with Spanish skipper Didac Costa, this year’s ambassador for the coast, who will take part in the Vendée Globe sailing race.

    The second part of the day was aimed at a wider local audience and citizens. It attracted more than a hundred persons and featured three different corners: Action Corner, with a selection of local and international organizations active in the field of Blue Economy, such as NGOs, research centres, and businesses; Networking Corner, with different areas to gather participants around the key economy sectors (mobility, energy, tourism, fisheries, recycling; and Creative Corner, with a collaborative workshop where participants were able to draw, build and take back a personalised art piece.

    Back-to-back with the Coast Day celebration the first regional consultation meeting was organised on 28-29 September in order to discuss the first draft of the ICZM Regional Framework and Marine Spatial Planning Conceptual Framework. Both documents are a part of the UNEP/MAP PoW for 2016-2017 and are envisaged for adoption by COP20. The meeting was attended by 56 participants, including MAP and PAP National Focal Points, a number of invited experts and the team preparing the two documents. The comments and suggestions received during discussions will be used for further elaboration of the documents.

  • 2016-09-24
    Coast Expo held in Ferrara, Italy

    A PAP/RAC representative participated at the Coast Expo in Ferrara, Italy, which took place on 21-23 September, in parallel with the RemTech Expo, and in the framework of the 2nd Ports National Conference. Coast is the only national event dedicated to coastal zone and sea management and protection, with the participation of the most competitive companies of the sector and the main authorities, such as Ministries, Ports, Regions and supervisory bodies.

    The rich and diversified conference programme was about the themes of coastal protection, erosion, protection works, monitoring, dredging, sediment management, port operations, Marine Strategy and offshore. PAP/RAC was invited to the presentation of the activities of the National Board on Coastal Erosion, promoted by the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, together with 15 coastal Regions. The National Board is leading the preparation of the Guidelines for fighting the coastal erosion and the impacts of the climate change. Different contributions to the guidelines were presented by the authors, taking into account geomorphological, hydrographic, legal, economic, biologic and other aspects. This collaboration of the 15 Italian coastal Regions is expected to contribute to the understanding of the importance of the ICZM Protocol in Italy.

  • 2016-09-24
    Coast week events in Slovenia

    Under the umbrella of the EU regional macro-strategies for the Adriatic-Ionian region (EUSAIR) a workshop was organised on 23 September 2016 in the framework of the Coast Day/Week events in Izola, Slovenia.

    The event was attended by the Adriatic-Ionian country representatives, as well as the European Commission representatives. The organiser was the Pillar 3 Environment led by Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The objective of PAP/RAC participation was to provide an insight into ICZM and MSP policies developed in the Mediterranean under the Barcelona Convention and in particular to mainstream the blue economy approach showing its benefits. Leaflets were distributed to participants in addition to the presentations given by the PAP/RAC representatives.

    The event was a good opportunity to mainstream the blue economy concept into other regional/subregional processes and therefore influence other multilateral and international initiatives, which is one of the objectives of the MAVA Blue Economy for the Mediterranean project.

  • 2016-09-19
    MedOpen ICZM Advanced in French launched this morning

    The Advanced training session on ICZM in French has started today. The session lasts 12 weeks and will be attended by 26 students, including six from Algeria, four from France, nine from Morocco and seven from Tunisia.

    The MedOpen team welcomes aboard all trainees and wishes them fruitful Forum discussions and interesting development of the practical Simulation Game.

  • 2016-09-16
    The Italian Ministry of Environment and UNEP/MAP sign a 4.5 million Euro Cooperation Agreement for the Protection of the Sea

    The United Nations Environment Programme / Mediterranean Action Plan – Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols (UNEP / MAP) and the Italian Ministry of Environment signed on 14 September in Rome, a bilateral cooperation agreement for the protection of the sea, in the presence of H.E Ms. Silvia Velo, the Italian Undersecretary for Environment.

    Development and enhancing of an effective Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMIs) management, Enhancement of Marine Litter Management, Creation of a Mediterranean Network of CAMP Projects (Coastal Area Management Program) and Promotion of governance tools for “Blue Growth”, are the main points of the agreement.

    Welcoming the agreement, Ms Velo said, “It is an initiative undertaken to strengthen the collaboration and cooperation between our country and the Barcelona Convention, following the signature of the Carta di Livorno (“Livorno Charter”). In view of the Italian G7 presidency and in the first phase of implementation of the Agreement, priority will be given to actions for the management of marine litter and the promotion of governance tools of Blue Growth”.

    The three-year agreement, valued at approximately four and a half million euro, will assist in achieving important objectives of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, such as the protection and sustainable use of the seas, oceans, marine resources and marine protected areas, by virtue of the purposes identified in the agreement.

    Thanking Italy for its continuous support, Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of UNEP / MAP - Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention and its protocols said: "The cooperation agreement that we signed today confirms once again the extraordinary commitment of Italy for the protection of the marine and coastal environment of the Mediterranean. The priorities that we have developed together, fall in the UNEP/MAP Mid Term Strategy and will produce concrete actions which will have a great impact".

  • 2016-09-07
    Wicked Problems, Dynamic Solutions: Enroll now!

    The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in partnership with Concordia University in Montreal, is offering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled “Wicked Problems, Dynamic Solutions: The Ecosystem Approach and Systems Thinking” from 12 September - 28 October 2016. This MOOC will help you gain: well-developed knowledge of the basic features of ecosystems from an interdisciplinary perspective; enhanced knowledge of the inter-relationships between ecosystems, human systems and governance; opportunities for the wider application of the ecosystem approach and systems thinking in other sectors; and specific awareness from case studies selected from representative ecosystems and related global issues, demonstrating the benefits and challenges of integrated approaches for ecosystem management and beyond.

    This Massive Open Online Course will be offered in English and is free of charge.

    Register now !!

  • 2016-09-01
    Welcome to EU MSP new website!

    The new European MSP Platform website has been created! Acting as the central exchange forum, the Platform is an information and communication gateway designed to offer support to all EU Member States in their efforts to implement Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the years to come. This website provides a diverse array of knowledge and resources drawn from existing MSP processes and projects.

    We encourage you to explore the European MSP Platform website. Here you will find many useful resources for learning about MSP experiences across the EU.

  • 2016-08-24
    MedOpen launched within the CAMP Italy

    The first MedOpen ICZM Basic training in Italian has started in the frame of the CAMP Italy. The training has been organized as a part of the project’s horizontal activities including, among others, the e-learning training. The aim of the training is to disseminate knowledge and promote awareness of ICZM issues for effective stakeholder involvement.

    Although this training in Italian is particularly intended for the local stakeholders involved in the CAMP, it is also available to everyone in Italy who might be interested in ICZM. Free access to training website.

  • 2016-07-22
    Coast Day at the door

    The summer is here again which means that the time has come to start preparing the Mediterranean Coast Day. This year it will be co-organised by PAP/RAC and SCP/RAC and celebrated on Tuesday, September 27 in Barcelona, at the premises of Sant Pau Art Knowledge Centre. The celebration will be organised within the project “A blue economy for a healthy Mediterranean” financed by the “MAVA Fondation pour la Nature”, located in Gland, Switzerland which will offer substantial financial support to the event. Given the objective of the project, the topic of this year’s celebration will be the “Blue Economy” and its importance for reaching economic, social and environmental sustainability in the Mediterranean Region. The morning part of the celebration will be dedicated to presentations and discussion on good examples and advantages of the Blue Economy, while the afternoon part will be more relaxed and entertaining, aimed at a wider audience. Please, consult the Coast Day site for regular updates.

  • 2016-07-21
    Italy ratifies the Prevention and Emergency Protocol of the Barcelona Convention

    Italy has ratified the "Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Preventing Pollution from Ships and, In Cases of Emergency, Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea" (Prevention and Emergency Protocol). The country deposited the instrument of Ratification on 30 June 2016, as confirmed by the Government of Spain, Depositary of the Barcelona Convention.

    The Prevention and Emergency Protocol will enter into force for Italy on 30 July 2016. Its ratification confirms the continued commitment of the Government of Italy to the protection of the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment.

    Under this important Protocol of the Barcelona Convention, the Parties commit to cooperate to implement international regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from ships, and to take all necessary measures in cases of pollution incidents.

    The protocol was adopted by the Conference of the Plenipotentiaries held in Malta in 2002, and entered into force in 2004. To date, it has been ratified by Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Slovenia, and Spain, approved by France and the European Union and adhered to by Montenegro, Syria and Turkey.

  • 2016-07-18
    MedOpen ICZM Basic available in French

    Since today, the MedOpen ICZM Basic training in French is available here. The aim of the training is to assist Mediterranean countries in building capacities for coastal management. The target users are decision makers, policy advisors, project managers, staff and experts of international organisations and institutions, academic researchers, students, and all others interested in ICZM. The contents of the Basic module are permanently available to users. The training is completely automated and free of charge.

    The MedOpen ICZM Advanced in French starts on 19 September 2016 and will be lasting for 12 weeks, i.e. until 11 December 2016. The deadline for the application is 22 July 2016, at the latest. Applications with the attached letter of motivation and a CV of a candidate should be sent by e-mail to Ms. Branka Bariæ, PAP/RAC Programme Officer, branka.baric@paprac.org, with a copy to Mr. Sylvain Petit, PAP/RAC Programme Officer, sylvain.petit@paprac.org

  • 2016-07-05
    MedOpen ICZM Advanced in French available in September! Apply now!

    In order to respond to the great interest of target users, in particular those coming from the French speaking Mediterranean countries, PAP/RAC decided to organize the MedOpen ICZM Advanced training session in French. The session starts on 19 September 2016 and will be lasting for 12 weeks, i.e. until 11 December 2016.

    In addition to raising awareness and improving knowledge of ICZM aspects in the Mediterranean, the aim of the session is to enhance a policy dialogue and build / improve capacities on implications of ICZM considerations, the ICZM Protocol and other related national policies. The target users of the training session are: decision makers (at the local, national, regional, and international level), policy advisors, project managers, teams and experts of international organisations and institutions, academic researchers, students, and all others interested in ICZM issues.

    The session will be available on-line, in the frame of the user-friendly PAP/RAC MedOpen virtual training course, and completely free of charge. The theoretical part of the training session includes 12 lectures accompanied by the additional materials, i.e. the scientific articles available for download. Trainees will be requested to actively and regularly participate in Forum discussions and in the Simulation Game, as well as to prepare a Final Essay in the end of the training session. Trainees with positively assessed participation in these three activities will be awarded the MedOpen ICZM Advanced certificate.

    The deadline for the application is 22 July 2016, at the latest. Applications with the attached letter of motivation and a CV of a candidate should be sent by e-mail to Ms. Branka Bariæ, PAP/RAC Programme Officer, branka.baric@paprac.org, with a copy to Mr. Sylvain Petit, PAP/RAC Programme Officer, sylvain.petit@paprac.org

  • 2016-07-04
    Achieving sustainable development of small islands

    Since 2014, the Small Sustainable Islands Initiative, supported by the Conservatoire du littoral, seeks to foster interaction between stakeholders involved in the protection of small islands, to promote their actions and to bring them a technical assistance tailored to their needs. It scopes local NGOs, government bodies, natural areas managers, and private sector representatives.

    The annual gathering CELEBRATE ISLANDS is a unique opportunity to highlight the special bond that men have with their natural environment. It is an important milestone towards the creation of a global, collaborative community of small islands focusing on sustainable development. On the long term, the Small Sustainable Islands Initiative wishes to strengthen a vast best practices exchange network. It also aims at promoting the efforts made by its members at local scale, thanks to an audit and award scheme, the “Small Sustainable Islands” ecolabel.

    This year PAP/RAC helped the initiative to reach the Island of Zlarin, in the Sibenik-Knin County, Croatia. Earlier this year a Coastal Plan for Šibenik-Knin County (find out more : here) was adopted, as the result of the joint efforts of the Department for Environmental Protection and Municipal Affairs of the County, PAP/RAC and Croatian and international institutional partners. A photographic exposition: „Small islands sustainable development pioneers” was opened in the Vesna Parun Heritage Museum, on July 1st. This exposition is the result of the cooperation with islands stakeholders, namely the Tourist Board of Zlarin and the Association KUD Koralj. As the first steps of a new partnership, the exhibition will enable the partners to stress the importance of the natural and cultural heritage, and the need for sustainable management of islands in order to preserve their heritage.

    The exposition will travel to Vis in September, at the MIC – Vis 2016, an international scientific multidisciplinary conference that has been jointly organised under the patronage of the city of Vis by University of Applied Sciences VERN’ and Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar.

  • 2016-06-28
    Mr. Erik Solheim, UN Under-Secretary-General, new UNEP Executive Director

    Nairobi, 27 June 2016 - Erik Solheim, a former Minister of Environment and International Development in Norway, began his tenure today as Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, with the concurrent position of UN Under-Secretary-General. Mr. Solheim assumes his new role as chief of the global authority on the environment after three years as head of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD.

    In taking up office, Solheim pledged to work with countries around the world to tackle some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, including ocean and air pollution, the destruction of ecosystems, climate change and the relationship between the environment and conflict and migration.

    He also promised to focus on environment issues close to people, such as damage to human health from air pollution.

    Solheim said, "There is an urgent need to fight climate change, halt ecosystem destruction, and reduce pollution for the benefit of all peoples everywhere. By protecting our planet, we protect ourselves and in the process can help bring every last person out of poverty. We all have a stake in a healthy planet."

    He noted other urgent areas to address include the private sector investment needed for sustainable development, greening the finance sector and creating jobs and markets with clean and green technologies.

    "Financing the preservation and rejuvenation of our planet cannot be the purview of governments alone. Private sector finance is both vital for sustainable development, and an opportunity for business. As never before, markets are rewarding investments in clean and green jobs and technologies."

    Solheim also underlined that issues like climate change and sustainable development are issues that no one country or organization can solve themselves, and that the world must come together to tackle environmental challenges.

    "With successes like the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has achieved a lot in recent years when it comes to the environment. We can achieve a lot more. But the only way to do this is by working cooperatively. I look forward to working with member states and welcoming voices and efforts from all parts of society to tackle our common challenges.

    "Our planet is vulnerable, but I'm optimistic we can resolve the environmental problems we face. There's little we can't achieve when we pull together with cooperation, collaboration and a can-do attitude."

    Solheim arrives after having served as Chair of the DAC of the OECD since 2013. Since that time, he has also served as UN Environment Programme's Special Envoy for Environment, Conflict and Disaster. Known as the 'green' politician, he held the combined portfolio of Norway's Minister of the Environment and International Development from 2007 to 2012, and served as Minister of International Development from 2005 to 2007.

    Having spent most of his career fighting for the environment in national and global politics, including through non-governmental organizations and during his combined ministerial portfolio, Mr. Solheim has focused on the challenge of integrating environmental and developmental issues. During his ministerial tenure, Norway reached 1 per cent of its GDP for overseas development assistance and passed the unique Nature Diversity Act. He initiated the process leading to the global coalition to conserve and promote sustainable use of the world's rainforests - the UN REDD - gaining invaluable diplomatic and organizational experience.

    Holding an undergraduate degree in history and social studies from the University of Oslo, Mr. Solheim has received several awards for his work on climate and environment, including UN Environment Programme's "Champion of the Earth" award, and contributed to a number of peace and reconciliation efforts, most notably as the chief negotiator of the peace process in Sri Lanka.

    Born in 1955, he is married, with four children.

    An extended biography of Erik Solheim can be found here.

  • 2016-06-25
    Mediterranean experience at the MSP Worldwide Conference in Azores

    The 6th event of the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) conference series took place on 23-24 June 2016, at the University of Azores in Ponta Delgada, Portugal. Organised by the European Commission, Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, this 6th Conference on Maritime Spatial Planning Worldwide elaborated on the benefits and challenges resulting from MSP implementation by addressing relevant issues in four interactive sessions: Maritime Spatial Planning - experiences from the EU and the rest of the world; Maritime Spatial Planning as a tool to develop a sustainable maritime economy; Maritime Spatial Planning in international waters; and Maritime Spatial Planning and climate change.

    The PAP/RAC Director was invited to be a panellist in the first session and to make a presentation on MSP challenges in the Mediterranean Sea basin and the way in which the Barcelona Convention system addresses this new and still emerging issue in this region of the world. Having underlined the increasing need for MSP in the Mediterranean, she elaborated on the complementarities between the ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention and the EU MSP Directive and presented the results of the MSP pilot project implemented in 2015 with Greek authorities and institutions. That was also a good opportunity for her to announce two important documents that UNEP/MAP and PAP/RAC were mandated by COP19 to produce and submit for adoption by the COP20: A Regional Framework for ICZM and Conceptual Framework for MSP.

  • 2016-06-20
    And the winner is … Ms. Tatiana Hema, from UNEP/MAP- Barcelona Convention

    UNEP announced on 13 June 2016 its BAOBAB award winners. Among those was Ms. Tatiana Hema MED POL programme officer of UNEP/MAP, who won the Environmental Service Award.

    “I am happy that my work has been acknowledged at UNEP level. No one can succeed working alone, therefore I consider this as a recognition for the collective work by UNEP/MAP team and its MED POL programme. I would like to thank my colleagues who were very confident that I will get this award. I believe that all the team of UNEP/MAP, who was also nominated this year, deserves this award, which sheds light on the importance of the regional contribution towards the achievement of global commitments”.

    The Environmental Service Award exemplifies those who demonstrate an outstanding effort and dedication in their field of expertise to enhance environmental sustainability and conservation at local, national, regional or international levels.

    “Ms. Hema has been with UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention for 12 years, and is with MEDPOL since 2012. Among her many accomplishments, her tireless efforts have resulted in innovative and substantive work in the Mediterranean towards pollution reduction. She is highly praised and appreciated by the Mediterranean countries for her services. Her work is inspiring other regional seas programmes to formulate action plans on marine litter. Her efforts draw on her impeccable technical expertise, her consistent professionalism and her strong interpersonal skills", said Naysan Sahba, Director of DCPI, introducing her.

    “I am so happy and proud that Tatjana was awarded this year's Baobab Environmental Service Award - a much deserved recognition to a person that stands out for her skills, commitment and inspiring work! Tatjana is a truly remarkable colleague and I look forward to continuing working with her for the success of UNEP/MAP - well done!”, said Gaetano Leone, Co-ordinator of UNEP/MAP- Secretariat of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols.

    Ms. Hema was instrumental in the development and adoption of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocol, and in the last 2 years had led the work towards the adoption of the Marine Litter Action Plan and Assessment and in general the successful delivery of MED POL programme of work. Tatiana is an example to her colleagues in the MED POL team.

    “Tatjana is the most dedicated staff I have worked with. She embodies all the UN values, works day and night for the countries she serves and therefore truly deserves this Baobab award”, said Virginie Hart.

    And Shelley Farrington added, “In my experience in working with Tatjana, I admire her for her dedication and efficiency in meeting deadlines and achieving results. She has a vision for the MED POL Programme and demonstrates this in the daily work. She is a great team leader and manages to keep a fine balance and harmony in the department amongst colleagues”.

    “In few words, I can say that Tatiana is straightforward, hardworking, dedicated, resilient, trustworthy, weariless defender and champion of UNEP/MAP” concluded Nathalie Gomez.

  • 2016-06-16
    Montenegrin Council approved major national documents

    The Montenegrin National Council for sustainable development, climate change and ICZM held on 15 June 2016 its 30th meeting at the presidential palace in Podgorica. The objectives were to discuss and adopt the draft National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD), the documents related to the improvement of the coastal zone management and those related to the protection of water resources. The NSSD until 2030 is a comprehensive document, completely harmonised with the UN requirements and prepared in a broad consultation process. Three other documents presented were prepared with the support of PAP/RAC within the framework of the CAMP and GEF MedPartnership project in co-operation with the project partners. These are the Coastal Plan for Buna/Bojana transboundary river basin, the Spatial Plan for the entire coastal area and the Concept for the establishment of the Co-ordination mechanism for ICZM. The latter is one of the follow-up initiatives of the CAMP Montenegro project. A PAP/RAC representative who attended the meeting introduced the Buna/Bojana Plan that envisages also an agreement between Albania and Montenegro on joint co-ordination of activities for the improvement of the state of the environment and in particular better management of resources. The draft is being finalised by the responsible governmental bodies and is expected to be signed shortly. All the three documents were well accepted and approved for submission to the Government. The Drim watershed project and the state of water resources management in Montenegro in relation to EU requirements were discussed, too.

    This National Council is chaired by the President of Montenegro, it has 27 members from various institutions, ministries, organisations, NGOs and experts. It has a role of providing recommendations and suggestions to the Government in implementing policies related to sustainable development, climate change and ICZM. Its main task is to contribute to better co-ordination of sectoral policies in all these fields.

  • 2016-06-03
    UNEP/MAP and EEA reconfirm their continuous collaboration towards a sustainable Mediterranean

    The United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) agreed on a joint work plan for the period 2016-2021, to contribute towards creating solid knowledge base and awareness among policy makers, civil society and the public at large, about the state of the marine and coastal environment in the Mediterranean and its sustainable development.

    Meeting on the sidelines of the UN environment Assembly held in Nairobi Kenya, 23 – 27 May 2016, Messrs Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the UNEP/MAP and Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director at the EEA, reconfirmed their commitment to intensify the mutual partnership and increase the effectiveness of their work, illustrating synergies and complementarities.

    “Building on the achievements of the 2006-2008 joint work plan, the present agreement aims to strengthen the science-policy interface in the Mediterranean region. It takes into consideration recent policy developments and shared achievements, and charts the path forward for the period 2016-2021”, said Leone.

    The plan also underlines the role of information delivery and dissemination in supporting the implementation of policies, in particular the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) 2016-2025, the UNEP/MAP Mid-Term Strategy 2016-2021, the joint work programme between the European Commission (EC) and UNEP/MAP, the Strategic Partnership between UNEP and the EC, the EU Enlargement Policy, the European Neighbourhood Policy, the EU MSFD, and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Horizon 2020 Initiative.

    The cooperation between the European Environment Agency (EEA) and UNEP/ Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) has a long-standing history. Over the last ten years, both organisations have worked hand-in-hand on strengthening the knowledge base and raising public awareness on the marine and coastal environment in the Mediterranean region and its sustainable development.

  • 2016-05-31
    Supporting climate change adaptation in the Mediterranean

    Searching for practical and operational solutions to support effective and successful adaptation was central to the workshop attended by more than 15 Mediterranean experts who met at the Plan Bleu premises in Marseille on May 25th & 26th, 2016. The workshop was organised in the context of the Adapt-Med project by ACTeon, environment and research consultancy company with the support from its partners (University of Aveiro, ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon) and from Plan Bleu. A PAP/RAC representative attended the workshop and presented the initiatives and activities undertaken during the preparation of the Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County aiming to secure its successful implementation. This Plan was the first plan focused on adaptation to climate variability and change based on the ICZM Protocol. The workshop aimed to contribute to build networking and exchange of good practices on the climate change adaptation along Mediterranean coasts.

  • 2016-05-28
    A new report on Marine Litter Assessment in the Mediterranean

    UNEP/MAP has launched its new updated Marine Litter Assessment in the Mediterranean on 26 May 2016, within the framework of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), held in Kenya, Nairobi. Marine litter has been confirmed as a critical issue in the Mediterranean, exacerbated by the basin’s limited hydrologic exchanges with other oceans, as well as pressures from its densely-populated coasts, highly-developed tourism, along with the impacts of 30 percent of the world’s maritime traffic transiting the Mediterranean sea and additional inputs of litter from rivers and heavily urbanized areas.

    The report is based on the 2008 assessment of the status of marine litter in the Mediterranean prepared by UNEP/MAP MED POL, and reconfirms a number of its findings. Compared to the 2008 assessment, this updated report provides data on waste and plastic inputs to the sea for each Mediterranean country and specifies the most important sources of litter, changes in their composition and transport patterns presenting updated results of modelling and provides a comprehensive review of existing data for the four compartments of the marine environment (beaches, surface, seabed, and ingested litter).

    It also provides original data and information on micro-plastics, on derelict fishing gear and their impact and details the general reduction measures, especially those that are important for the Mediterranean Sea. The results of monitoring and national and regional studies on marine litter have been also integrated.

    To download the report, click here.

  • 2016-05-18
    PAP/RAC’s contribution to building capacities for ICZM and MSP

    A two-day workshop on “Blue Growth and Integrated Coastal Zone Management as Sustainable Development Generators” was organised on 16 and 17 May 2016 by the Faculty of Maritime Studies of the University of Split within an EU co-funded project aimed at promoting the capacities of university professors in the field of maritime management and sustainable coastal development (http://www.pm21st.eu/). PAP/RAC was given the opportunity to present the Barcelona Convention system, its legal basis and the work that has been done in the field of ICZM and, more recently, MSP. Besides a general introduction on ICZM and MSP in the Mediterranean, two initiatives carried out in Croatia with the support of the UNEP/GEF MedPartnership project were presented: the recently adopted Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County, and the so-called “Coastal and Marine Strategy” that is being prepared for the Republic of Croatia.

    Finally, to wrap-up and visually recall the complex coastal and marine problems and possible solutions, the video produced by CAMP Italy was shown.

  • 2016-05-17
    Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County – a desirable model for coastal regions

    Judging by the interest of various actors and stakeholders the Coastal Plan prepared for the Šibenik-Knin County of Croatia has all the chances of becoming a role model for many other coastal areas, not only in the Adriatic but also in wider Mediterranean region. Over the past 15 days only, the Plan was presented at three important events:

    - On April 28, in Karlobag, Croatia, at the annual meeting of Croatian Counties and institutions dealing with bathing water quality, where it raised lots of interest and stimulated quite a vivid discussion.

    - On that same day, the Šibenik-Knin County Regional Development Agency, jointly with PAP/RAC, presented the Plan at the Bologna Charter Coordination Board held in Rome. During the Plan development process, the Šibenik-Knin County joined the Bologna Charter – an initiative of Euro-Med Regions for the promotion of a joint strategic framework aimed at the protection and sustainable development of Mediterranean coastal areas. The Bologna Charter also promotes a Macro-Project initiative i.e. a proactive approach towards the European Structural Funds. The Šibenik-Knin County, led by the Development Agency, intends to propose some of the Plan’s priorities for EU funding through this initiative. Two other Croatian coastal counties that have been members of the Bologna Charter for several years now, those of Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva, also expressed their intention to apply for EU funding through the Macro-Project initiative for the preparation of their coastal plans.

    - On May 16 the participants of the workshop „Blue Growth and ICZM – sustainable development generators“, organised by the Faculty of Maritime Studies of Split within an EU-funded project, had the opportunity to learn about the Plan. At the workshop the discussion was held on how the two concepts complement each other, and the Šibenik-Knin Plan was seen as an excellent example in that sense.

    One of the advantages of preparing a coastal plan is that, owing to its integrated approach, it helps to identify and address management priorities for each individual coastal zone. In the case of the Šibenik-Knin County those were climate change impacts and adaptation, sustainable spatial development and water resources management, but they can be different in some other case, thus confirming the adaptive character of ICZM. PAP/RAC stays at the disposal of any Mediterranean coastal region that wishes to apply this promising approach.

    Summary of the Plan

  • 2016-05-14
    1st EUSAIR Forum in Dubrovnik: An occasion to build synergies

    More than 600 participants attended the 1st Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), jointly organised by the European Commission and the Government of Croatia in Dubrovnik (Croatia) on 12 and 13 May 2016. The event provided ample possibilities for networking on the four pillars of the Strategy (1. Blue growth; 2. Connecting the region – transport and energy networks; 3. Environmental quality; and 4. Sustainable tourism) and was a great opportunity to reach out to a wide range of stakeholders from the Region, including national, regional and local administrations, the business sector, the academia and the civil society at large.

    PAP/RAC Director was invited to attend as a panellist in the parallel session entitled “Reconciling conflicting interests in a shared maritime space”. That was an occasion to present and represent the entire UNEP/MAP system and to promote the Barcelona Convention, its Protocols and the EcAp process as an adequate legal and strategic framework for the implementation of EUSAIR, and in particular its environmental pillar. Having summarised the achievements reached so far with regard to the implementation of two integrative processes within UNEP/MAP, ICZM and EcAp, the PAP/RAC Director focused on the issue of MSP in the Mediterranean Region, i.e. its rationale and constitutive elements and the future UNEP/MAP activities in the field, in particular the Conceptual Framework for MSP in the Mediterranean that will be prepared in the actual biennium (2016-2017) as a part of a broader Regional (Mediterranean) Framework for ICZM to be submitted for adoption by COP20.

    For more details about EUSAIR Forum and the EUSAIR Strategy, follow the link: http://www.adriatic-ionian.eu/

  • 2016-05-09
    Second edition of CV&C Advanced launched!

    In order to respond to the great interest of target users who had applied for the MedOpen Climate variability and change (CV&C) Advanced training session in 2015, PAP/RAC decided to launch one more Advanced session on CV&C aspects. This training session has started today in the frame of the PAP/RAC MedOpen virtual training course and will be implemented during five weeks. The training will be attended by 15 students coming from: Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Tunisia.

    Welcome aboard MedOpen CV&C Advanced trainees!

  • 2016-05-09
    New GEF MedPartnership project website - beautiful, isn't it?

    A number of important outputs and results of the activities performed within the GEF-financed MedPartnership and ClimVar and ICZM projects prompted PAP/RAC to redesign its special projects website.

    Numerous activities resulted with a handful of valuable outputs. In order to help the reader find “the best” we have highlighted our selection at the home page. Whether you want to know more about the National ICZM Strategy of Montenegro, adopted by the national Government, or about the first Coastal Plan focused on climate variability and change impacts adopted by the County Assembly, or about the methodological guide for converging coastal, river basin and aquifer management - it is all there, easy to find.

    It is possible to view the outputs of each particular project by choosing its name. The alternative is to use the top menu at which all the activities and outputs are categorised according to the type of the activity. Using the GEF IW model, ten activities are presented with the experience notes. In addition, some activities, such as the Coastal Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County of Croatia, are presented with the nicely designed summary.

    Among 42 key outputs in 5 different languages (some of which are also in the national languages of the Mediterranean countries), you will find:
    • 4 methodological guidelines (for converging coastal, river basin and aquifer management, developing national ICZM strategies, adaptation to climate variability and change, and assessing socio-economic impacts and adaptation options);
    • 3 technical documents related to the interpretation of the ICZM Protocol;
    • 5 different assessments of the costs of the climate variability and change impacts, including one dealing with the banks and insurance companies;
    • 3 national strategies (one in the national language only, but the experience note is available);
    • 3 coastal plans (one in the national language only, but the English version will be available soon, Summary version and the experience note available in English);
    • Reports of the 3 major regional workshops with all the materials distributed and PPT slides presented.

    Besides these 42 outputs, you will find 10 experience notes and links to 5 more web sites, some specially designed for GEF projects activities, and some regular PAP/RAC activities within which some of the GEF activities were implemented, like the Coast Day campaign or the MedOpen virtual training course.

    Although the GEF projects are closed, the seeds they have sawn keep flourishing around the Mediterranean.

  • 2016-04-28
    Coastal Plan for Šibenik-Knin County Adopted

    On 27 April the County Council members adopted the ICZM Plan for the Šibenik-Knin County. Mr. Goran Pauk, President of the County, pointed out that the main reason behind the preparation of the Plan was improvement of the environmental state and securing a healthy environment by, among others, taking into account the climate variability and change. The Plan was presented by Ms Sanja Slavica Matešiæ, Head of the Administrative Department for Environmental Protection and Municipal Affairs. “The Coastal Plan of the Šibenk-Knin County is not a normative plan and is not based on any law. It belongs to the so called indicative plans which provide guidelines on how to manage a given problem, and define solutions which should than be included into normative plans. A great innovative and creative effort was made, and this is the first plan of the kind in Croatia which is, at the same time, a strategic document necessary for attracting EU funds.” – explained Ms Slavica Matešiæ. This is the first Coastal Plan in Croatia, and one of the pioneers in the Mediterranean, that was developed in accordance with the ICZM Protocol, and with a special focus on climate variability and change. The Plan was developed within the GEF ClimVar and ICZM Project and lead by PAP/RAC. Over a period of two and a half years, a number of meetings, workshops and direct contacts with local stakeholders were organised in order to secure as wide as possible participatory approach, to secure that local knowledge, desires and solutions were embraced, as well as to raise awareness of the threats posed by climate variability and change, the effects of which are already felt in the area. One of the greatest qualities of this process was a deep involvement of numerous regional institutions, in particular those responsible for environmental affairs, spatial and regional development. This is the best guarantee for its successful implementation that should lead to improved resilience of the coast and its sustainable development.

  • 2016-04-05
    Var “Land Sea Forum” – Towards the future of the coast and sea

    The first "Land Sea Forum” of the Var County was organised in the framework of the CAMP France (PAC Var) project on March 31, 2016 in Grimaud, France. The Forum was conceived as a place of a dialogue and sharing knowledge and information among the actors of the Var County’s coast and marine areas. The aim of the event was to promote the emergence of a shared common destiny around the future of the coastal zones. The Forum was attended by 150-odd participants representing a large panel of actors, from different national, regional and local authorities, international organisations, research institutions, professional associations, the private sector, tourism and fisheries sectors, NGOs, etc.

    The Forum was officially opened by welcome speeches by Mr. Benedetto, Mayor of Grimaud, representative of the Var County and the host of the event, Ms. Škarièiæ, PAP/RAC Director and Mr. Sticker, French Ambassador for the Environment. Following different presentations delivered, among others, by project co-ordinators a vivid discussion was developed on the topic of adapting coastal economy to global changes. Thereafter, two round tables took place, both moderated by Mr. Bernard, President of the Steering Committee of the PAC Var project: How to rationalise uses on a limited space to better preserve the richness and identity of a territory? and How to adapt the coastal economy to global risks? The morning session was closed by Ms. Le Dissez, President of the Conservatoire's Directory Board and the presentation of the exposition "The coast seen from the sea".

    In the afternoon, two public workshops were held in parallel, on the model of an open forum: How to strengthen the "coast and sea" community in the Var? and How to bridge the gap between knowledge and decision making? Following the discussions, the two working groups gathered in the main conference room to share their conclusions.

    The Forum was closed by the French Ambassador for the Environment who wrapped-up the topics covered by the Forum encouraging the actors to strengthen their efforts to co-construct a common project for the future of their coasts and marine zones.

  • 2016-03-29
    UNEP mourns passing of Former Executive Director, Mostafa Tolba

    Former Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Mostafa Tolba, has passed away at the age of 93. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP, said:

    "We have lost a visionary leader and friend whose life and legacy have been truly exceptional.

    UNEP's history and evolution - even beyond his tenure - are an expression of his profound understanding that the relationship between environment and development are inextricably linked to the human condition and would determine the prospects for development of future generations."

    Dr. Tolba was also the "Ambassador for the Coast" in a MAP initiative to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable coastal zone management organised in the framework of the Coast Day. In his role of the Ambassador for the Coast, Dr. Tolba contributed to the promotion of the coast by rising awareness of its value and the necessity of using an integrated approach in managing the coastal area.

  • 2016-03-21
    CAMP Italy enters its final stage

    The Emilia Romagna region was the host of the Mid-Term Conference for the CAMP Italy project that took place at the Cappella Farnese in Bologna on 21 March 2016. Taking into account the issues being at the heart of the project, the event was named Actions and Tools for Coastal Management. The objectives of the conference were to review the progress done so far and plan the future activities as the project is entering its final stage.

    After the welcome by representatives of the national and regional authorities and the PAP/RAC Director, the first session was devoted to Pilot actions implemented by the three regions involved in the project, namely Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Sardinia. The session that followed was focused on horizontal activities including the Web-GIS platform, the e-learning MedOpen training course and participatory processes. In the afternoon workshop, a focus was put on the planning issues in coastal areas. After a couple of introductory presentations, a lively debate developed around this important issue of ICZM.

    The following day, a field trip was organized to the Delta of the river Po, i.e. the Comacchio area. Several aspects of the protection and use of natural resources, including the natural and cultural heritage and traditional fishing were presented and discussed.

  • 2016-03-18
    CIESM Congress members meet again

    On 12-16 September 2016, the Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM) will be held in Kiel, Germany. Each year, the CIESM Congress is organizing one of the largest multi-disciplinary forums in marine sciences. This year, its congress will be organized in Kiel, in Germany, at the crossroad between Northern and Southern scientific communities.

    Scientists are invited to submit their abstract to come and share their scientific approaches and latest findings in some 90 distinct sessions that will cover a number of key issues. Among these, the Coastal Centre would like to particularly encourage scientists and practitioners interested in one of the themes dealing with Coastal Systems and Marine Policies under CIESM Committee 6. Deadline for submission of abstracts has been extended till 25 March 2016. Congress webpages: www.ciesm.org/marine/congresses/Kiel.htm

  • 2016-03-14
    MedOpen CVC boat ready to sail out again!

    In order to respond to the great interest of target users who had applied for the MedOpen Climate variability and change (CVC) Advanced training session in 2015 held within the MedPartnership project, PAP/RAC decided to organise one more session on CVC. This on-line training session will start on 9 May in the frame of the PAP/RAC MedOpen virtual training course and will be implemented during five weeks. The session will be developed in English and completely free of charge.

    The deadline for the application for the MedOpen CVC Advanced training session is 4 April 2016, at the latest. Applications should be accompanied by a CV of a candidate and sent by e-mail to Ms. Branka Bariæ, PAP/RAC Programme Officer, branka.baric@paprac.org, with a copy to Mr. Sylvain Petit, PAP/RAC Programme Officer, sylvain.petit@paprac.org

    Join the journey!

  • 2016-03-11
    Land-Sea Forum of the Var County

    The first Land-Sea Forum of the Var County (CAMP France), opened to coastal stakeholders, practitioners, decision makers and the civil society, will be held on 31 March 2016, and will take place in the town of Grimaud. The Forum aims to promote the emergence of a genuine community of destiny built around the ICZM principles.

    During this first Forum, the discussions will focus on coastal risks (coastal erosion and marine flooding), harbours and navigation basins, as well as archipelagos of excellence. Two issues will be central to the debates: the first on how to build together a land/sea community and the secon on how to bridge the gap between knowledge and decision making.

  • 2016-03-10
    CAMP Italy Project Mid-term Conference

    On 21 March the conference “Actions and Tools for Coastal Management” will take place in Bologna – Cappella Farnese (in Piazza Maggiore). Organized by the CAMP Italy Project along with UNEP MAP, the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea and the partner Regions (Emilia-Romagna, Sardinia-Conservatoria delle coste and Tuscany), the conference will be an opportunity to present the integrated coastal management tools developed by the Project.

    The event will consist of two sessions. During the morning session the presentations will focus on monitoring tools, data management and ecosystems preservations. In the afternoon session a workshop on coastal planning will be held.

    The Conference is open to those who take part in coastal management – especially civil servants, politicians and technicians in the public sector, researchers and professionals – but also to private sector representatives involved in coast-based activities. Participation is free but registration is required via this form (by March 11, at the latest). Please, download the Programme.

  • 2016-02-24
    Paper Consumption was cut by 85% at the Barcelona Convention COP19

    The UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat succeeded in cutting its paper consumption by 85% during the 19th ordinary meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention held in Athens from 9 to 12 February 2016, as compared to its last CoP meeting held in December 2013.

    This was possible thanks to a series of sustainable measures successfully implemented by UNEP/MAP in collaboration with its Sustainable MAP Operations Task Force. For COP19, meeting registration was done online, meeting documents were uploaded to the MAP website, participants were requested to bring their own devices to read documents on the screen, and a series of Conference Room Paper and draft report of the meeting were circulated by email, which all contributed to cutting down the paper consumption to the minimum.

    Tree of life initiative

    "I commit to switch to led lights in all my house", "I will recycle organic domestic waste into the garden", "I will use a towel instead of paper towels"; were the commitments that participants wrote on leaves made of recycled paper, that they put on what was called “the tree of life” set at the entrance of the meeting room. The “Tree of Life” initiative aimed at raising the awareness of meeting participants by asking them to write down their commitment to reduce the ecological footprint on one leaf and mention challenges to make meetings and events more environmentally sustainable.

    Participants made commitments to reuse, recycle and consume less, opt for walking, biking or using public transportation, turn off lights and ACs, eat organic and local seasonal food and consume less meat, print less and many more. They also committed to more sustainable events through reducing paper and plastic waste, selecting venues with sustainable policy, identifying of and working with local sustainable vendors, off-setting the carbon emissions from flights, etc. Many have expressed their willingness to share the information about sustainability with their families and friends.

    The activity comes as one of the initiatives of the MAP Sustainability Task Force, aiming at implementing a more sustainable, greener approach, and reduction of ecological footprint in the daily operations and meetings organized by the MAP System. Launched at the beginning of year 2015, the Task Force, is consisted of members of UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat and its collaborating Regional Activity Centres: Plan Bleu, PAP/RAC, SPA/RAC, REMPEC, INFO/RAC, and SCP/RAC located in France, Croatia, Tunisia, Malta, Italy and Spain respectively.

    PHOTO: UNEP DED Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw also committed to more sustainable actions

  • 2016-02-17
    COP19 side event on MSP

    On 11 February 2016 PAP/RAC organised a side event on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) for the participants of the COP19. The event was motivated by the increasing use of the marine space which calls for an adequate planning and management approach allowing for a “blue economy” to develop in harmony with the protection of fragile marine resources. Since there is only limited knowledge on MSP in the Mediterranean basin, the need is felt to better understand its challenges and to prepare both the UNEP/MAP system and the CPs for its implementation. The experiences from two CPs were presented to this end: the work on the Integrated Maritime Policy for Israel; and a PAP/RAC pilot project implemented with Greek partners (MSP Med - Greece).

  • 2016-02-12
    Ministerial session – COP 19

    Athens, 11 February 2016 – During a high level event of the Barcelona Convention CoP 19 meeting, hosted by the Greek Government in Athens, Mediterranean ministers and parties contracted to the Convention, renewed their commitment to enhance measures to reduce pressures on their marine and coastal environment.
    The ministerial session was opened by Mr. Ioannis Tsironis Alternate Minister of Environment and Energy of Greece. With the theme "Forty Years of Cooperation for Healthy and Productive Mediterranean Sea and Coast: A Collective Journey Towards Sustainable Development", participants to the meeting celebrated with pride the 40th anniversary of the Barcelona Convention, which, together with the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), represents one of the most advanced legal regimes worldwide for the protection of marine and coastal environment.
    Representing UNEP, Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw said: “that this meeting was one of the first major conferences taking place after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. While 2015 will be remembered as a major milestone in terms of international agreements, 2016 has been called the year for implementation and delivery. We must seize that opportunity, and ride that momentum”.
    Highlighting their concerns by the continued threats posed to the Mediterranean by major pressures affecting the sea and its coastal inhabitants, the Mediterranean ministers adopted the Athens Declaration, in which they pledged to implement the instruments, programmes, action plans and guidelines adopted at COP 19 -to prevent pollution from maritime transport, marine exploration, and land-based activities, protect biodiversity, manage coastal zones, and increase the resilience of the Mediterranean to the impacts of climate change -, as crucial means for the achievement of the objectives of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols.
    Two memoranda of understanding (MoU) were also signed with the Black Sea Convention and ACCOBAMS secretariats respectively.

  • 2016-02-09
    COP 19 started

    The 19th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP 19) hosted by the Hellenic Government, has just been opened this morning of 9 February in Athens. The meeting was opened by Prof. Mehmet Birpinar, President of the Bureau of the Barcelona Convention who stressed in his speech on the achievements realized during the two years of Turkey’s presidency. Highlighting the improvement of the status of compliance of countries he declared:” we still need more progress on this issue. I am sure that we all agree that full compliance must be achieved”.
    After the presidency was given over from Turkey to Greece the meeting started to work on the review and adoption of a number of decisions to guide the next biennium activities of the MAP, including among others the revised MSSD, the Mid-term Strategy, the SCP Action Plan etc. With more than 150 delegates from 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union, as well as MAP components the meeting is supposed to complete its work by Friday 12 February. On Thursday a ministerial session is envisaged with the participation of several ministers from the Mediterranean countries.
    The Meeting is taking place at a decisive moment following last year’s breakthroughs on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN Summit in September 2015 and on climate change in Paris in December 2015. UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, addressed the participants - in a recorded message – and highlighted the proud record of the Barcelona Convention as being the only legally binding instrument that addresses the management of the unique ecosystem of the Mediterranean. Steiner emphasized that “the year 2015 laid out a new trajectory with the New York meeting and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Summit on Climate Change“, confirming that the Barcelona Convention will have a key role in achieving these goals in the Mediterranean.

  • 2016-01-22
    The 19th meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to be held in Athens

    The 19th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention hosted by the Hellenic Government, will be held in Athens from 9 to 12 February 2016, with the participation of the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw.
    Representatives of 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union are expected to debate and adopt a number of decisions on biodiversity and ecosystems, land and sea-based pollution, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change adaptation. These decisions, which address specific issues of the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, will define strategies and actions on sustainable development in the Mediterranean.
    Under the theme “Forty Years of Cooperation for Healthy and Productive Mediterranean Sea and Coast: A Collective Journey Towards Sustainable Development”, a ministerial session will be held on 11 February during which Mediterranean ministers are expected to renew their commitment and determination to address together the emerging challenges related to environmental protection and sustainable development of the Mediterranean Sea and coast, in the global framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly.

    The Meeting, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP)- Barcelona Convention comes at a defining stage for global sustainable development and at a key moment for the future of the Mediterranean region: integrating agreed universal and transformative global goals and targets into the post-2015 development agenda, transitioning to a green and blue economy, implementing a new climate change agreement, and striving to revive and boost stagnant economies are processes with a profound impact at all levels.


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