Meeting of the advisory panel to the regional climate change adaptation framework in Athens, Greece


The Mediterranean area is widely considered as a "climate hotspot". Its climate is especially responsive to global change and potential climate change impacts are particularly strong. It has become crucial that Mediterranean countries react to be most effectively prepared to address those impacts, setting the objectives and priority actions.

UNEP/MAP, through the MedPartnership sister project on climate variability and change, has undertaken the development of the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Zones, which will be presented for adoption in its final form in the next Conference of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention.

"Adapting to the -unavoidable- impacts of climate change is as crucial as reducing the emissions of gases that change the climate", said Tassos Krommydas, UNEP/MAP Climate expert who drafted the regional framework.

The Framework is being developed in a step-by-step process involving key experts and following closely relevant regional or sub-regional initiatives, including the revision process of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development.

An Advisory Panel has been set up aiming at providing technical expert input to the Framework's elaboration process. The panel held its first meeting on 18 December 2014 in Athens. The meeting focused on presenting the aim of the Framework and the work undertaken so far, to gather experiences on how this Framework can build upon and complement other climate related policies, assessments and initiatives in the region, and to review the content of the preliminary draft of the Framework.

'Measures to adapt to climate change impacts are not only necessary, they also make economic sense: It is better to invest now to adapt to climate change rather than spend fortunes to address its costly impacts in the near future’ said Dr Ljubomir Jeftic, environmental services professional. 'The Framework needs to be followed by an Action Plan that all Mediterranean countries should adopt, and commit to', he added.

Following this initial meeting, a more developed version of the Framework will be shared with the Panel members for comments. The second expert meeting will be held in February 2015 to review the almost final draft of the framework. A series of consultation steps with national and other stakeholders will follow, leading to submission of the Framework to the UNEP/MAP Focal Points and the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention for formal adoption.

The meeting is supported by the GWPMed Water, Climate & Development Programme (WACDEP).