The main event for the celebration of the 2017 Mediterranean Coast Day, themed “Protect our Sea” was held on September 25 in Tivat, Montenegro, gathering 150 participants, representatives of several Mediterranean countries, and institutions and other components of the Montenegrin civil society.
The event was organised under the high patronage of Mr. Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro and President of the National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Integrated Coastal Zone Management, who delivered the opening address. Mr. Vujanović confirmed the awareness of the highest political levels of Montenegro of the value of the coastal zones and environmental issues these face, as well as their dedication to resolve them.
Mr. Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan Coordinator, expressed his gratitude to the hosts and in particular to Mr. Vujanović for honouring the event with his presence, as a testament of the commitment of Montenegro as a steady supporter of the Mediterranean Action Plan. Mr. Leone noted that since 2007, the Mediterranean Coast Day has offered an opportunity for the entire MAP system to celebrate the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal areas but also celebrating partnerships, of all stakeholders at all levels sharing a goal: a clean, healthy and productive Mediterranean. Mr. Leone also stressed that the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocol is an innovative response to growing pressures on the coast, with the objective of promoting sustainable development, supporting the notion that the development of coastal management systems can truly attain economic, social and environmental objectives if addressed in an integrated fashion.
Ms. Željka Škaričić, Director of the Priority Actions Programme / Regional Activity Centre of MAP, expressed her satisfaction that the 2017 Mediterranean Coast Day was organised in Montenegro, a country that excelled with regard to the achievements related to the Barcelona Convention, and in particular the implementation of the ICZM Protocol. She noted that with its approach to coastal zone management, the adopted national strategy for ICZM, the results achieved within the Coastal Areas Management Programme (CAMP) of Montenegro project and its concrete follow-up, Montenegro is a shining example of implementation of and involvement in UN Environment/MAP-led initiatives, setting an example for the others to follow.
During the event, representatives of the Mediterranean Action Plan system presented a number of relevant initiatives being launched in the Mediterranean such as the the project “Implementation of Ecosystem Approach in the Adriatic Sea through Marine Spatial Planning, the “Mediterranean Sea Programme (MedProgramme) child project on “Mediterranean coastal zones: climate resilience, water security and habitat protection”, and the project “Enhancing regional climate change adaptation in the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Areas”
The coast day event also featured key note speeches on the topics of Marine Spatial Planning and Marine litter, presentations on the Sustainable development of the coast of Montenegro, as well as the awarding of the title of “Ambassador for the Coast” for 2017 to Branimir Gvozdenović, Vice-President of the Parliament of Montenegro, in recognition to his contribution to the Coastal Areas Management Programme (CAMP) of Montenegro.
In parallel with the official event, a number of activities for children were organized, ranging from collection and separation of waste on the beaches, to lectures on diving in ecology and theatre play.