The meeting of the Focal Points of the Mediterranean Action Plan took place in Athens, Greece on 12-15 September 2017. The main objectives of the meeting were to review the progress of activities carried out in the framework of the MAP, during the 2016-2017 biennium and the draft decisions to be submitted to the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for subsequent adoption during their 20th Ordinary Meeting (Tirana, Albania, 17-20 December 2017), including the Programme of Work and Budget for the 2018-2019 biennium.
The meeting was attended by Focal Points of 19 of the 22 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (absent Algeria, Monaco and Syria) and partners of the Mediterranean Action Plan system. It was preceded by the biennial meeting of the Ecosystem Approach Coordination Group.
The MAP Focal Points agreed that the theme of the ministerial segment of the 20th meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention will focus on the theme of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Mediterranean and on pollution and biodiversity, linking discussions to the third meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 3) that will have taken place at the beginning of December.
Focal Points were reminded of the importance of their governments’ engagement in UN Environment initiatives and upcoming events, such as UNEA 3 and were invited to register their voluntary commitments at #BeatPollution, the GPA meetings in Bali, and the Clean Seas campaign.
Greece, as Host Country of the UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan Coordinating Unit also took this opportunity to invite the Focal Points to visit the new premises that are being made available to accommodate the Secretariat. The meeting of MAP Focal Points was a productive event that showed the relevance and commitment that Contracting Parties and partners continue to attach to the Mediterranean Action Plan system and the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols. Its conclusions bode well for the upcoming Contracting Parties’ meeting.