The “Regional Meeting on NAPs Implementation – Lessons learned and the way forward”, was successfully held in Marseille, in France on 17 and 18 October 2016, bringing together representatives of 17 Mediterranean countries and other participants from the region.
Jointly organized by UNEP/MAP and the EU-funded SWIM and Horizon 2020 Support Mechanism, the meeting called for the highest commitment of the countries for implementation of the NAPs.
It encouraged the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to get the NAPs approved by their national competent authorities in line with the national procedures, following the endorsement of the NAPs by decision IG 22/8 of COP 19. It also acknowledged the important work undertaken in preparing their updated National Action Plans (NAPs) and Programmes of Measures (PoM) and It also stressed the need to focus on implementation, in view of achieving the overall objective of Good Environmental Status (GES) of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast.
During the meeting, representatives of the participating countries presented their updated NAPs/PoM and shared experiences, success stories and lessons learned in order to strengthen their implementation efforts. Since the NAPs/PoM were formulated with a harmonized outline based on the Guidelines agreed by the MED POL Focal Points, a considerable number of common operational targets and measures have been developed, which create a strong basis to foster regional and subregional cooperation for their implementation.
The participants highlighted the need for the approval of NAPs/PoM by the national competent authorities, with the aim to get the highest commitment of the countries for their implementation, as an important step towards successful implementation.
The meeting reviewed a proposed list of potential new/updated regional measures, in view of bridging the existing gaps between the current situation and GES for pollution and litter clusters of the MAP Ecological Objectives adopted by COP 17 of the Contracting Parties.
The Meeting also included a capacity building session focused on the needs for better alignment of investment needs and projects with priority measures provided for in the NAPs that was led by the Horizon 2020 SWIM Project.