2018-06-13SIMWESTMED meeting in la Seine-sur-mer
On 12 June 2018, back-to-back with the Land-sea forum of the Var County, a meeting was organized for the NGOs, PAP/RAC and the French Coastal Agency (Conservatoire du littoral), with support of the Municipality of la Seyne-sur-Mer, regarding the Var case study of the SIMWESTMED project. The organisers and the French partners in the project (Cerema, the French agency for biodiversity), gathered with the French experts from WWF France, the National Park of Port-Cros, the Rhône-Méditerranée-Corse Water Agency, Plan Bleu, CPIE Côte Provencal, the PACA Region, and from the Ministry in charge of the environment. They reflected on a number of issues regarding MSP, particularly land-sea interactions and governance, such as: Which are the linkages between the good environmental status - GES (from the watershed to marine environment), the uses and users’ expectations? The Strategic Façade Document will, on one side, integrate these elements, but for which implementation at the local and articulation at the regional level (SDAGE, PAMM, PEM)? How to approach to multi-scale governance that takes into account local dynamics and national and regional instruments? Which are the linkages between marine areas with high ecological value (including MPAs and SPAMIs) and the local planning/ICZM policies and tools? These exchanges will help PAP/RAC formulate a series of recommendations for the European Commission, for a more harmonious implementation of MSP at different geographical and time scales.
The Technical Group France (Lead: Conservatoire du littoral) for the definition of a Common regional framework for ICZM in the Mediterranean, met on 13 June. This meeting was also organized with support and at the invitation of the commune of la Seyne-sur-mer.
2018-06-12Land-Sea forum of the Var County NGOs
On 12 June 2018, PAP/RAC and the NGO CPIE Côte-Provençal organised, with support of the French Coastal Agency (Conservatoire du littoral) a Land-Sea Forum of the NGOs of the Var County in la Seine-sur-Mer. The forum, which was welcomed by the Municipality of la Seyne-sur-mer, was attended by 30-odd participants including Ms. Ricard, president of the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute, in her capacity as a “key witness”. This approach is a follow-up of the efforts made in the framework of the CAMP France (Var) project, aiming at a more effective implementation of the ICZM Protocol in the Mediterranean, as well as at the integration of local stakeholders and the civil society of the coastal areas in the ICZM process.
The forum also enabled institutional and economic actors and coastal users to share their perceptions of the various issues related to the coastal area they occupy and the associated coastal management measures. Managers and planners addressed the frameworks and land-sea planning and management processes in the Mediterranean, with a particular focus on Var. Experiences from other areas were presented as well in order to contribute to the debates.
In the afternoon, in a relaxed atmosphere, the participants shared their expectations, ideas and concrete actions and initiatives, in order to address the major issues identified in the morning debates. Discussions and exchanges, which took place in the presence of the local elected representatives and international experts, help harmonise knowledge and reinforce the dialogue between actors (associations/managers, and between associations).
2018-06-08World Oceans Day 2018
We celebrate World Oceans Day (8 June) to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. Action focus for 2018 is preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the areas most affected by marine litter in the world with plastic comprising up to 95% of waste accumulated on shorelines, the ocean surface, or sea floor. Approximately 0.5 billion litter items are currently lying on the Mediterranean Seafloor while concentrations floating plastic are comparable with those in the five oceanic garbage patches reaching over 600 items per square kilometer.
Aiming for the elimination of single-use plastic by 2023, the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign is urging governments to pass plastic reduction policies; industry to minimize plastic packaging and redesign products; and consumers to change their throwaway habits. So far, forty countries, including France, Israel, Italy, Malta, and Montenegro, have joined the campaign which has also gathered over 87 130 individual pledges for action.
We support the launch of the WWF Med PO report “Out of the plastic trap – Saving the Mediterranean from plastic pollution”, which is happening today - World Oceans Day, with some suggested media posts and images.
The MedOpen on-line training on ICZM attended by graduate students with specialization in coastal management at the National Superior School for Marine Sciences and Coastal Management (ENSSMAL) in Algeria, has been officially concluded. This is the first training course in the history of MedOpen organized for a group of trainees from the same country and from the same institution. The extraordinary group of ENSSMAL students has made this three-month training exceptional, dynamic and rich in interesting forum discussions on the ICZM issues.
The novelty regarding the practical part (the Simulation Game - SG) of this training was the inclusion of a real pilot site of the Algerian coast, the marine part of the National Park of Gouraya (NPG) - the future MPA, instead of the "imaginary" one so far implemented in the former MedOpen training courses. With great support of the NPG, as well as of the Commissariat national du littoral (CNL) and the Port authorities of Béjaia, three workshops were organized for students with participation of the local actors at the pilot site. The students had a unique opportunity to actively participate in the effective exchange process with real stakeholders discussing about a real project (the future MPA of Gouraya). Following this terrain visit, the final restitution conference was held in Algiers, with participation of representatives of the NPG, CNL and the Béjaia Port authorities.
This initiative to implement the practical part of the training at the terrain has already started producing effects, such as: a) the decision of ENSSMAL to reiterate this specific experience with the future Master students, and not only with those with specialization in coastal management, as well as to extend, in consultation with the NP management, the on-site training to two other national coastal parks - Taza and El Kala; b) the proposal to organize similar trainings, with the reduced contents and of a shorter duration, for the institutional actors dealing with ICZM; c) the decision of a group of trainees to add to their Master thesis dissertation, in consultation with their promoters, a chapter corresponding to their final essay elaborated in the frame of MedOpen; d) a firm and a repeated decision of the NPG actors to be at disposal for the implementation of all types of initiatives such as MedOpen.
This extremely positive experience for both, ENSSMAL and PAP/RAC, as well as for the NPG, has created strong links between education and the initiatives at the terrain, providing a good example of what we should do to contribute to the promotion of ICZM at a larger, regional scale.
On 4 to 6 June 2018, the SIMWESTMED partners met in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to discuss the latest progress done within the project. The state of progress made by each partner was shared, and the case studies were discussed.
The PAP/RAC representatives presented a detailed state-of- the-art of the ongoing work on the outputs under PAP/RAC responsibility, as well as a detailed proposal for performing a land-sea interactions (LSI) analysis. The idea is to suggest a methodology for interpretation of LSI in the maritime spatial planning (MSP) process. The methodology is intended to support integrated planning and management of inshore and offshore activities in a harmonized manner, considering the functional integrity of the land-sea continuum. The proposed methodology capitalizes the experience of the report on Initial Assessment and will be updated taking into consideration the reflections at the level of the case studies.
PAP/RAC also presented a brief action plan for the implementation of the upcoming activities in each of the pilots, the Var and the Tyrrhenian case studies, stressing the need for encouraging the dialogue between the French and the Italian parties. Several joint meetings are planned to take place between the two countries, under the leadership of PAP/RAC, both at the local and national level. These meetings will also be an opportunity to make a step forward regarding the definition of the Common Regional Framework for ICZM in the Mediterranean.
The final conference of the project was also on the agenda of the meeting, so the partners discussed the format to adopt and the possible items of the agenda. The conference will be organized by Corila and will take place in Venice, Italy, on 12 and 13 December 2018.
2018-06-05Forty years of Plan Blue's actions in favour of sustainable development in the Mediterranean
On 5 June 2018, more than 130 participants gathered in Paris on the occasion of Plan Bleu’s 40 years anniversary, during the international conference, organized jointly with the Association Serge Antoine. Experts, decision-makers, representatives of national, European and Mediterranean institutions, and members of the civil society discussed the Mediterranean issues and possible futures.
The morning session was dedicated to the creation of Plan Bleu and forty years of reflections and actions in favour of sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Thus, since the end of the 70s’, in the framework of the Barcelona Convention, and despite geopolitical tensions, the Mediterranean countries have worked together to progress on many common environmental challenges. During the afternoon, speakers discussed on such issues as marine ecosystems management, sustainable tourism, rural development, blue economy, biodiversity and talked about possible and desirable futures. The fragility of the Mediterranean region and the multiple pressures that it undergo call for the stakeholders’ mobilization.
On this occasion, Plan Bleu announced the launching of MED 2050, a new foresight study in the horizon 2050, intended to mobilize Southern and Northern decision-makers and stakeholders by overstepping geographic and institutional boundaries. The works that will be carried out for the next four years will be based on dialogue, partnerships and shared visions on transition ways and investments to implement for a Mediterranean Basin desirable future.
2018-06-01Good progress on Regional Framework for ICZM
The Working Group on the Common Regional Framework (CRF) for ICZM met for the second time in Athens, on 30-31 May 2018. The WG composed of the CPs’ representatives is mandated by the COP 20 (Tirana, December 2017) to develop the full text of the CRF. Alongside the representatives of PAP/RAC and the Coordinating Unit, the CPs represented at the meeting were Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy and Turkey.
On the basis of the agreed distribution of work at the first meeting the WG’s members provided contributions to specific chapters of the CRF. A complete draft was used as a working document at the meeting in Athens. The meeting worked on the text of individual chapters and made a very good progress on the draft. Further work was agreed on refining some specific elements. A bit more efforts will have to be done regarding the chapter on Ecosystem-Based Management for GES and SD.
The next step along the process is the consultation meeting with all CPs which is scheduled during the occasion of the Coast Day celebration in Split, end September 2018.
2018-05-30Inception meeting GEF Adriatic
The Inception meeting of the GEF project “Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach in the Adriatic Sea through Marine Spatial Planning” (GEF Adriatic Project) was held at in Tirana, Albania, on 29 May 2018. The Project's First Steering Committee Meeting was held the following day.
The primary objective of the Inception meeting was to discuss and agree upon the implementation strategy of the GEF Adriatic project, which aims at restoring the ecological balance of the Adriatic Sea through the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). Since the project will be implemented in Albania and Montenegro, the Albanian and Montenegrin representatives provided an overview of their current practices with respect to the protection and management of the marine environment, and contributed to the discussions on the steps to efficiently deliver the project outputs.
The Inception meeting is an important milestone in cooperation among all the Adriatic countries, since the results of the project will directly contribute to achieving the Good Environmental Status (GES) in the Adriatic sub-region, and indirectly to the development of a common sub-regional approach on MSP in the Adriatic.
2018-05-11Implementation Agreement on the Sub-Regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan signed
On Tuesday, 8 May, Cyprus, Greece, and Israel have signed the Implementation Agreement on the Sub-Regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan. The objective of the Plan is an effective reaction to spills and to facilitate the co-operation among the three countries in the field of oil pollution preparedness and response. The Heads of State and Government Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus; Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic; and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, who were meeting in Nicosia for their Fourth Trilateral Summit, were present at the signing ceremony. Mr. Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan, who attended the signing ceremony, noted his appreciation of this important development of sub-regional cooperation in the context of the UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP)-Barcelona Convention, which is dedicated to continuing to provide support, building capacity to respond to oil spills, and sharing the experiences and lessons learned across the Mediterranean region. The Sub-Regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan between Cyprus, Greece, and Israel has been prepared in the framework of the MAP-Barcelona Convention system with the leadership and support of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).
More details on the Agreement are available at: http://web.unep.org/unepmap/implementation-agreement-sub-regional-marine-oil-pollution-contingency-plan-signed-cyprus-greece-and
Plan Bleu and the Association Serge Antoine organize in Paris, on 5th June 2018, a conference dedicated to forty years of reflections and actions in favor of sustainable development in the Mediterranean, with the support of the History Committee of the Ministry of ecological and inclusive transition, the General Council of Agriculture and Food (CGAAER) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and the Mediterranean world Economic Foresight Institute (IPEMED).
In a first session, the speakers will come back to the creation - on the initiative of Serge Antoine - of Plan Bleu and its work in the fields of foresight and environmental reporting that have earned its legitimacy. In a second part, the possible futures of this region will be discussed during a final round table bringing together Mediterranean experts and decision-makers.
This will be an opportunity for Plan Bleu to present an ambitious prospective study project, MED 2050, endorsed by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, aiming at mobilizing policy makers and stakeholders from the South and the North by going beyond the geographical and institutional boundaries. This work, which will be conducted in the next four years, will be based on dialogues, partnerships and shared visions on the desirable or desirable future of the Mediterranean Basin.
At the invitation of the Permanent Secretariat of the Black Sea Commission (BSC), PAP/RAC participated at the 22nd meeting of the Advisory Group (AG) on the Development of Common Methodologies for ICZM (ICZM AG) that took place in Istanbul, Turkey, on 19-20 April 2018. The invitation was based on the previous collaboration between the BSC and PAP/RAC, in particular on the projects such as the PlanCoast and Pegaso, as well as on the MoU between UNEP/MAP and BSC signed at the 19th COP of the Barcelona Convention.
The cooperation between the two conventions (i.e. the ICZM Advisory Group and PAP/RAC) has a long history. It started in the early 90’s with the focus on activities and technical support to be provided to the riparian countries with regard to coastal zone management.
The major “footprint” in the Black Sea region was made by the Pegaso FP7 EU project. In its follow-up, the project succeeded to prepare and adopt the Guidelines for ICZM for the Black Sea Convention based on the ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean and, based on the experience with the stock-taking exercise for reporting on the implementation of the ICZM Protocol (today, the official Reporting format in the Mediterranean), the countries of the Black Sea adopted the stocktaking format for the reporting on the implementation of the ICZM Guidelines.
The BSC is currently developing its Black Sea IMAP (BSIMAP 2017-2022), which was the main item of the meeting agenda in Istanbul, in addition to the reporting on the progress with the ICZM-related Guidelines based on the list of ICZM indicators; cooperation with various organisations; and priorities for future work of the AG. The participants expressed their great satisfaction with participation of the PAP/RAC representative at their meeting and raised hopes for more frequent exchanges and more joint activities in the future.
2018-04-18PANORAMED & “Made in MED” in Rome
On 17 April 2018, PAP/RAC joined the 2nd meeting of the Thematic Working Group 5: Coastal and Maritime Tourism of the PANORAMED project that took place at the premises of the Agency for Territorial Cohesion/Agenzia per la Coesione Territoriale in Rome, Italy. The work package is coordinated by the Croatian Ministry for Regional Development and EU funds in collaboration with the Tuscany Region. With a focus on governance, the country experts and representatives have worked on the selection process of the key projects, which will be further analysed in order to help build new Interreg strategic projects at the Mediterranean scale in the coming years.
This first meeting was scheduled back-to-back with the Interreg MED Mid-term event “MADE in MED – Crafting the future Mediterranean”, which was held also in Rome, on 18 -19 April 2018. PAP/RAC joined the panels of this event, addressing the specific issue of the blue economy development.
The EU MSP Platform and OCTO: Open Communications for the Ocean are co-organising a webinar on cumulative impact tools, as a follow-up from the expert roundtable on the same topic, held on 18 January 2018. The webinar will share latest developments on cumulative impact tools from Europe, including examples of their application from Montenegro (presented by PAP/RAC). The webinar will be held on 3 May 2018 at 15:00 UTC / 16:00 WEST / 17:00 CEST.
Register for the webinar at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LZzAKJj4Tuq-q4sCn-_o7g
For more information please visit the EU MSP Platform and contact Clare Waldmann.
2018-04-12EEAcademy summer school on Blue Growth
In line with the European Environment Agency’s commitment to share knowledge and experience from its network and in support to marine assessment activities in the Mediterranean region, the summer school on the Blue Growth: can marine environment maintain growth maintaining good ocean health? will be organised in the framework of the EEAcademy. This summer school will be held on 5-7 June 2018 in San Sebastian, Spain, and is co-organised with AZTI.
You can find detailed information under the following link: Blue Growth
The working language of the summer school is English. The deadline for application is 28th May 2018 and should be done at https://www.lankor.eus/summer-school/
2018-03-30Portodimare project on the way
The kick off meeting of the project entitled Interreg ADRION “PORTODIMARE” - geoPORtal of TOols & Data for sustainable Management of coAstal and maRine Environment - was organised and hosted by the Lead Partner (LP) Regione Emilia-Romagna in Bologna, Italy, on 28 - 29 March 2018. The main objective of the project is to prepare and test the Geoportal that will provide data and information, as well as tools and modules for MSP/ICZM.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of and discussion on the project technical activities, chaired by WP leaders and involving project partners from the Adriatic region. The following day was focused on three capacity building sessions dealing with, respectively, communication, project management and financial management.
PAP/RAC is the leader of the Work Package T2 (Geoportal testing and demonstration). Its main activities include two trainings, six testing activities in pilot areas and the Geoportal use, maintenance and transferability. The importance of the feedback that will come from the testing activities on the concrete use of the Geoportal was highlighted. The results of the demonstrations will have to be transferred to the authorities with competences in MSP and ICZM.
The 1st meeting of the PORTODIMARE project Steering Committee and Technical Committee took place jointly back-to-back with the Kick off meeting.
2018-03-29PHAROS4MPAs Steering Committee
MPAs are pioneers of environmental conservation. These areas have a key role in the implementation of MSP in the EU member countries, in the Mediterranean and beyond. The consortium of the PHAROS4MPAs project met in Rome, Italy, on 27 and 28 March 2018, under WWF lead, and gathered partners from eight Mediterranean countries.
Different sectors are at the heart of the concerns of the partners: maritime transport, tourism, fisheries, energy. How these sectors impact the ecosystems? How to guide them towards sustainable development? This Interreg-Med initiative is a unique experience of capitalisation, where all the partners will join forces to search for the most relevant works, results, data, etc. from previous EU projects and other initiatives, to provide a joint analysis and relevant recommendations.
PAP/RAC, alongside with SPA/RAC and REMPEC, will help the partners to liaise with the Barcelona Convention system in the most efficient way, and building on the MedPan experience, partners will screen their products to be as concrete and practical as possible, and in line with MPAs managers’ needs and expectations. The project will last 18 months.
PAP/RAC has been engaged to accompany the process of pedagogical programme reform at the National Superior School for Marine Sciences and Coastal Management (ENSSMAL) in Algiers, Algeria. To that end, the on-line MedOpen advanced course on ICZM, which also aims to further improve technical capacities of countries in the domain of sustainable development of coastal zones, their protection, resilience and valorisation, has been included in the education of future graduate students at ENSSMAL. A 12-week Advanced training session has been organized for a group of 29 students attending the 5th (last) year of their education with specialisation in coastal management. The training starts on 12 March 2018. In addition to awarding the MedOpen ICZM Advanced certificate to successful students, the evaluation of students’ participation in the training will be an integral part of their pedagogical evaluation by ENSSMAL. The novelty regarding the practical part of the training (the Simulation Game) is the inclusion of a real pilot site of the Algerian coast, namely the marine part of the coastal National Park of Gouraya - the future MPA, with participation of local actors.
This initiative is only the first step in fostering co-operation between PAP/RAC and similar academic institutions with the aim of including the MedOpen ICZM training in students’ education programmes.
2018-03-10First regional MedProgramme consultation
The first regional consultation on the Mediterranean Sea Programme (MedProgramme): Enhancing Environmental Security was held on 7 and 8 March 2018 in Athens, Greece. The GEF Operational Focal Points of the countries that endorsed the Programme, as well as its executing partners met to discuss and agree on the proposed activities, roles and the timeline for the preparation of the seven MedProgramme Child Projects. The UN Environment/MAP representatives reported on the progress of the preparation of the MedProgramme documents, as well as on the steps to follow. The partners informed countries about the activities and locations planned within each of the seven Child Projects, while the GEF Operational Focal Points provided comments on the activities and locations proposed and asked for clarifications where needed. Special interest was noted by the Lebanese representatives, who were the only country representatives that presented their vision and expectations from the MedProgramme. The progress of preparation of the GEF Special Climate Change Fund Project was also presented. On 9 March, partners convened the Coordination meeting aiming to adjust all the comments and recommendations of the GEF Operational Focal Points, as well as to agree on the next steps and the timeline for the submission of documents to the GEF Secretariat. Partners of the Child Project 2.1, including PAP/RAC, were glad to realize that out of the seven Child Projects, their Child Project was in the most advanced stage of project preparation.
2018-03-08Another step forward for Co-Evolve
The 4th meeting of the Co-Evolve project Steering committee was organized by the Emilia-Romagna region in Bologna, Italy, on 6 March 2018. The event began with the presentation of one of the last documents of the work package (WP) 3: the synthesis of the threats and enabling factors for the sustainable co-evolution of tourist areas in the Mediterranean. This document is the result of a joint work between ISMAR and PAP/RAC, and provides concrete guidance and recommendations to facilitate the work of the pilot area partners. The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss progress in these areas, including the participatory process, which is essential for the future implementation of the plans on the ground.
The following day, the first Co-Evolve training course was organized by PAP/RAC. The training was especially addressed to the coordinators of the pilot zone teams, who had the opportunity to learn more about the concepts of ICZM, MSP and participatory processes. The planning methodology for sustainable coastal tourism developed by the University of Venice was presented in detail to enable partners to apply it in the WP 4 phase of the project. This training course laid the foundations for this new step, in which the lessons of the previous stages will be put into practice for greater sustainability of tourism in the Mediterranean coastal areas.
The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report was launched at the 20th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, held in Tirana, Albania, on 17-20 December 2017. On that occasion, the Contracting Parties, i.e. 21 riparian countries of the Mediterranean and the EU, endorsed the key findings of the Report and welcomed its recommendations.
The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report is an important achievement, based on joint and integrated efforts of the Contracting Parties, Partners, and the UN Environment/MAP Secretariat and Components. It provides a unique contribution to assessing the status of the Mediterranean ecosystem and the progress towards the achievement of its Good Environmental Status (GES). It is also an important milestone for the UN Environment/MAP system 40-year long experience in monitoring and assessing the marine and coastal environment of the Mediterranean.
The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report represents the current progress in the development of an integrated monitoring programme for the Mediterranean. This is a key element in the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach Roadmap adopted in 2008, and of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) adopted in 2016. IMAP is based on 11 Ecological Objectives for the Mediterranean and defines 27 indicators.
The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report is the result of significant contributions of the Contracting Parties, as well as the large participation of other stakeholders. It will serve as the baseline to define the progress towards GES or maintaining GES and to sharpen and target national monitoring programmes to fill existing gaps. Indications on concrete measures to be taken to achieve GES are contained in the Report and will guide the work for filling knowledge gaps towards the 2019 State of Environment Report and the next 2023 Mediterranean Quality Status Report.
Finally, the 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report not only brings together national data and information to the regional level, but also contributes to current work at the global level including the Regional Process on a Second World Ocean Assessment and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially its ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The online report can be accessed at www.medqsr.org
A long-year successful co-operation of PAP/RAC with the University of Split and its Department of Marine Studies, has been formalised by signing a contract between the two institutions on 28 February 2018. In this way, the University network of scientific and educational institutions has been enlarged providing the students with the opportunity to obtaining a quality professional practice, including concrete practical knowledge, skills and competences, which is fully in line with the aim of the University and that is to open it to community and society. On the other side, PAP/RAC is assisting the University in enhancing a policy dialogue and building and improving capacities for coastal management.
On 20 February 2018, H.E. Mr. Tomislav Ćorić, Croatian Minister of Environment and Energy, met with H.E. Mr. Blendi Klosi, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Albania and H.E. Mr. Pavle Radulović, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Montenegro. The meeting was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The ministers discussed possible solutions of the problem of land-based marine litter, a global issue dramatically affecting marine and coastal environment. Having in mind the importance of a clean environment and sustainable tourism, representatives of the three countries, being signatories to the Barcelona Convention, stressed the need for the implementation of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS), in order to reduce marine litter quantities in the Adriatic Sea. The ministers agreed that the long and fruitful cooperation of the three countries in the frame of the existing agreements and initiatives, such as the Joint commission for the protection of the Adriatic Sea waters and the coastal areas, the Adriatic Trilateral Initiative and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian region, should be further strengthened with the aim of finding efficient solutions for the marine litter issue in the Adriatic Sea.
On 13 and 14 February 2018, the SIMWESTMED partners met in Marseille, France, to review the progress of project activities. Rich discussions helped the French, Spanish, Italian and Maltese country representatives, as well as international experts to step forward on different major topics. The key steps were agreed to allow for the final drafting of the key reports, with PAP/RAC in a leading role on “MSP within the Barcelona Convention”, “ICZM & MSP integration”, “Land-sea interactions”, stakeholders engagement, etc. The case studies were presented as well. The debate helped fine tune the role of each partner to enable a smooth implementation of planned actions at the level of each pilot, as well as to ensure the complementarity between actions at the project level. PAP/RAC is leading two cases, the Var County and the Tyrrhenian case.
Also, the joint work plan was discussed. It was decided that the final conference of the project would take place on the Mediterranean coast, tentatively in Venice. Finally, the importance of sharing strong messages with DG Mare and the EU Commission on the need to further support transboundary projects on MSP in the Mediterranean was stressed out. To that end, all the partners will make efforts in building bridges with other initiatives in the Mediterranean and beyond. Moreover, interactions with the EU MSP Platform will be encouraged, in terms of technical assistance, communication and synergy building.
Back-to-back to this meeting, the French Biodiversity Agency organised a joint workshop on the assessment of cumulative effects for both, the SIMWESTMED and SIMNORAT projects. The meeting, which was attended by PAP/RAC representatives, paid particular attention to the following key issues: How cumulative impact assessment tools can support the MSP implementation? And, how these tools can be harmonised among the EU member countries and partners?
On 13 February 2018, a meeting with local authorities of the CAMP area (Neum municipality, as the only coastal municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina – B&H) and national authorities, including the MAP and PAP/RAC Focal Point for B&H, was organized in Neum, B&H. In addition to presentation of the draft Feasibility study by the consultant in charge of its preparation, the meeting participants discussed the proposed CAMP activities (horizontal and individual) which would help B&H in the implementation, at the national level, of decisions and obligations from the Barcelona Convention (i.e. IMAP, EcAp indicators to achieve the GES of the area), as well as in the realization of the ICZM priorities, at the local level. The Feasibility study will be finalized within a month when the second meeting is going to be organized to confirm the list of CAMP activities, as well as to ensure preconditions for the signature of the MoU for the CAMP implementation between UNEP/MAP and B&H.
A meeting of the County Committee for integrated coastal and marine management was held on March 7th at the premises of the Šibenik-Knin County. The Committee was founded as a result of the Coastal Plan, prepared in collaboration with PAP/RAC and adopted by the County Assembly. The objective of the meeting was to discuss and adopt the Recommendations for building coastal resilience to climate change impacts, as well as to inform the members on the results of a study on emission of toxic metals from tourist vessels into the sea.
PAP/RAC support the implementation of the Coastal Plan and in the meeting presented the Recommendations, which are the latest result of the joint work on the Plan. The implementation of these recommendations by the local authorities and community would be greatly beneficial for all stakeholders in the coastal zone and help preserve coastal resources for future generations. “The next step will be to present these Recommendations to the representatives of the local authorities, investors and the general public, since the only way to find better and environmentally friendly solutions is to act together”, said Ms. Sanja Slavica Matešić, Head of the Department for Environmental Protection and Municipal Affairs and the Secretary of the Committee.
2018-01-27Buna river project launched in Albania
A PAP/RAC representative participated at a meeting to launch the Buna Delta Protection project organized on 25 January 2018 in Shkodra (Albania). The meeting was attended by around 70 participants from local government, civil society and education bodies from Albania and Montenegro, followed by a field visit to the Buna River-Velipoja Protected Landscape, attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Environment, at the Velipoja Visitor Centre on 27 January 2018.
The Buna Delta Protection Project, supported by the MAVA Foundation, will be coordinated by IUCN ECARO in partnership with PAP/RAC, GWP, Tour du Valat, and INCA. The project will run for five years focusing on the Buna River-Velipoja Protected Landscape, and will look to significantly reduce development threats currently affecting high value wetlands in order to stop further degradation of habitats. Furthermore, the project anticipates restoration activities on damaged wetlands and coastal habitats. In order to address socio-economic issues and human well-being, sustainable tourism and land use practices will be promoted. The site, designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Site) is one of the four Mediterranean coastal wetlands highlighted by the MAVA Foundation to develop best practices that will serve as references for the Mediterranean region.
The “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award” was conferred to Izmir (Turkey) during the high-level session of the 20th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP20), which was held in Tirana, Albania, on 17-20 December 2017. The Contracting Parties established the “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award“ to recognize and reward the efforts of local authorities to improve the environment and the quality of life and to encourage coastal cities and towns in their efforts towards sustainable coastal development.
Mr. Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), introduced the “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award” and the procedure followed for the nomination and selection of the winner, including through public voting. Izmir was selected as the winner of this pilot edition of the award, among 17 applicant-cities. The selection was made through a process applying criteria under four main categories: Nature and biodiversity protection; Built environment; Social, economic, and cultural sustainability; and Governance.
A Deputy Minister of Tourism and Environment of Albania handed a plaque to Mr. Aziz Kocaoglu, Mayor of Izmir, and congratulated on its exemplary implementation of an urban political agenda in the region. The Mayor of Izmir accepted the award on behalf of the people of Izmir and noted the numerous environmental investments and projects implemented in Izmir while encouraging participants to experience the city that thinks about its future.
PAP/RAC greeted this award to the city of Izmir with particular pleasure, knowing that the Coastal Area Management Programme (CAMP) Izmir, one of the first MAP CAMPs implemented from 1990-1993, contributed to setting the city on this path towards sustainability.