The Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/MAP) received the Excellence in the Mediterranean Award, conferred by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), in recognition of commitment to the protection of the marine and coastal environment and to sustainable development in the region. UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat Coordinator Gaetano Leone received the award on 21 February 2020 during a ceremony held in the context of the 14th Plenary Session of PAM.
“I accept the award on behalf of the entire UNEP/MAP team. This is an important recognition of our work in the Mediterranean and of the collaboration linking our two institutions,” Mr. Leone said in a statement during the award ceremony.
PAM is the principal forum where the national parliaments of the Euro-Mediterranean region deliberate to reach strategic objectives of a political, social, economic and cultural nature. It is an international organization, observer at the United Nations General Assembly, with a specific international juridical status and the role of supporting other international bodies entrusted with the responsibility to foster security, stability and peace in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
“I am confident that with your support as legislators, we can enlist a higher level of enforcement from the Contracting Parties,” The UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat Coordinator told the members of the PAM in reference to efforts aimed at turning commitments under the Convention into action for a healthy Mediterranean Sea and Coast.
The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) encompasses key concepts adopted at the landmark 1992 Rio Conference, including the definition of sustainable development, the precautionary principle, integrated coastal zone management, the use of best available techniques and best environmental practices and the promotion of environmentally sound technology. The Contracting Parties to the Convention adopted seven implementing Protocols addressing specific measures, technical requirements, standards and specifications to abate, phase out and eliminate marine pollution from different land and sea-based sources; protect and conserve marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystems and apply integrated coastal zone management principles and related tools.
The implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its protocols is the subject of national reports submitted by the Contracting Parties through a formal reporting system. In 2008, the Compliance Committee was established as a subsidiary body of the UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention system to facilitate and promote the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols.