The Meeting of the Focal Points of the Mediterranean Pollution Assessment and Control Programme (MED POL) was held on 29-31 May 2017, at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters, Rome, Italy.
The Meeting brought together representatives of seventeen (17) Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, namely : Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey. Also present were representatives from other components of the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan of the (UN Environment/MAP) including the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), the Regional Activity Centre for Information and Communication (INFO/RAC) and the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), as well as representatives from other United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, Convention secretariats, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations including the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (FAO/GFCM), the European Environment Agency (EEA), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Centre International de Droit Comparé de l’Environnement (International Centre for Comparative Environmental Law).
The meeting was opened by Ms Tatjana HEMA, Deputy Coordinator of UN Environment/MAP and Mr Oliviero Montanaro, Head of Unit IV, Directorate General for Nature and Sea Protection, Environment Protection, International Issues, Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea of Italy.
Ms Tatjana Hema highlighted the coherent work that has been done by MED POL and other MAP components in this biennium for the implementation of the MAP PoW 2016-2017 and COP Decisions.
Mr. Oliviero Montanaro, thanked the Secretariat for the work done and the organization of the MED POL Focal Points meeting and pointed out the big challenge of depolluting the Mediterranean. He also underlined some core issues of the work of the Barcelona Convention stressing the importance of tackling these issues as prerequisite to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES).
The meeting examined the implementation of the programme of work of MED POL since the last meeting of the Focal Points, covering the implementation of three pollution-related Protocols to the Barcelona Convention under the mandate of MED POL (Dumping, LBS and Hazardous Wastes Protocols). Specific attention was paid by the meeting on the work undertaken by the Secretariat in accordance with the COP 19 Decision IG.22/7 on the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast and related Assessment Criteria (IMAP) for pollution-related Ecological Objectives 5 (eutrophication), 9 (contaminants) and 10 (marine litter).
The main outcomes of the meeting included amongst others, the approval of a priority clustering of new/updated measures under 6 potential regional plans in the framework of the article 15 of the LBS Protocol that are reflected in the proposed Programme of Work of MED POL 2018-2019; three updated guidelines on the management of dredged material, the placement for artificial reefs, and the management of desalination activities; the IMAP Common Indicator Guidance Factsheets for pollution and litter; the Quality Status Report (QSR) Assessment Factsheets for marine litter; the proposed metadata templates for contaminants, eutrophication and marine litter and the proposed Programme of Work of MED POL for the biennium 2018-2019. The meeting also approved proposed activities and recommended their inclusion in the draft MAP PoW under the Governance and Pollution themes, for submission to the MAP Focal Points meeting.