Representatives of 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union started their 4-day discussions on the state of their shared marine and coastal environment and on policy decisions to ensure a healthy and productive Mediterranean. This comes within the framework of the 18th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of Mediterranean and its Protocols (CoP18), held every two years.
İn her opening speech, the Deputy Director and Officer in charge of UNEP/DEPI Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, highlighted the pressures that the Mediterranean is faced with due to unsustainable development, tourism, and lifestyle patterns.
“Looking at the longstanding trends of population growth for the region in the next 30 years, it is clear that there will be many challenges ahead” she added.
Participants to the meeting are expected to discuss effective strategies to be implemented at the regional, national, and local levels addressing pressures on the Mediterranean environment from coastal urban populations.
The first day of the meeting included the signing of two Memoranda of understanding. On one hand, UNEP/MAP/Barcelona Convention Secretariat and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will cooperate to address issues related to the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and the sustainable use of marine living resources in the Mediterranean region in a more efficient way. On the other hand, it will cooperate with the Union for the Mediterranean to foster pollution prevention, control of the Mediterranean coastal and marine waters, and protection of biodiversity and ecosystems and enhance Integrated Coastal Zone Management.