PAP/RAC has been engaged to accompany the process of pedagogical programme reform at the National Superior School for Marine Sciences and Coastal Management (ENSSMAL) in Algiers, Algeria through integration of the MedOpen ICZM Advanced on-line training in the education of the future graduate students. The aim of this process is to further improve technical capacities of Algeria in the domain of sustainable development of coastal zones, their protection, resilience and valorisation. To that end, PAP/RAC is organizing a 12-week Advanced training session for a group of 27 ENSSMAL students attending the 5th (last) year of their education with specialisation in coastal management. The training starts on 12 March 2018. In addition to awarding the MedOpen ICZM Advanced certificate to successful students, the evaluation of students’ participation in the training will be an integral part of their pedagogical evaluation by ENSSMAL. The novelty regarding the practical part of the training (the Simulation Game) is the inclusion of a real pilot site of the Algerian coast, namely the marine part of the coastal National Park of Gouraya - the future MPA, with participation of local actors.
This initiative is only the first step in fostering co-operation between PAP/RAC and similar academic institutions with the aim of including the MedOpen ICZM training in students’ education programmes.
2018-03-10First regional MedProgramme consultation
The first regional consultation on the Mediterranean Sea Programme (MedProgramme): Enhancing Environmental Security was held on 7 and 8 March 2018 in Athens, Greece. The GEF Operational Focal Points of the countries that endorsed the Programme, as well as its executing partners met to discuss and agree on the proposed activities, roles and the timeline for the preparation of the seven MedProgramme Child Projects. The UN Environment/MAP representatives reported on the progress of the preparation of the MedProgramme documents, as well as on the steps to follow. The partners informed countries about the activities and locations planned within each of the seven Child Projects, while the GEF Operational Focal Points provided comments on the activities and locations proposed and asked for clarifications where needed. Special interest was noted by the Lebanese representatives, who were the only country representatives that presented their vision and expectations from the MedProgramme. The progress of preparation of the GEF Special Climate Change Fund Project was also presented. On 9 March, partners convened the Coordination meeting aiming to adjust all the comments and recommendations of the GEF Operational Focal Points, as well as to agree on the next steps and the timeline for the submission of documents to the GEF Secretariat. Partners of the Child Project 2.1, including PAP/RAC, were glad to realize that out of the seven Child Projects, their Child Project was in the most advanced stage of project preparation.
2018-03-08Another step forward for Co-Evolve
The 4th meeting of the Co-Evolve project Steering committee was organized by the Emilia-Romagna region in Bologna, Italy, on 6 March 2018. The event began with the presentation of one of the last documents of the work package (WP) 3: the synthesis of the threats and enabling factors for the sustainable co-evolution of tourist areas in the Mediterranean. This document is the result of a joint work between ISMAR and PAP/RAC, and provides concrete guidance and recommendations to facilitate the work of the pilot area partners. The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss progress in these areas, including the participatory process, which is essential for the future implementation of the plans on the ground.
The following day, the first Co-Evolve training course was organized by PAP/RAC. The training was especially addressed to the coordinators of the pilot zone teams, who had the opportunity to learn more about the concepts of ICZM, MSP and participatory processes. The planning methodology for sustainable coastal tourism developed by the University of Venice was presented in detail to enable partners to apply it in the WP 4 phase of the project. This training course laid the foundations for this new step, in which the lessons of the previous stages will be put into practice for greater sustainability of tourism in the Mediterranean coastal areas.
The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report was launched at the 20th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, held in Tirana, Albania, on 17-20 December 2017. On that occasion, the Contracting Parties, i.e. 21 riparian countries of the Mediterranean and the EU, endorsed the key findings of the Report and welcomed its recommendations.
The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report is an important achievement, based on joint and integrated efforts of the Contracting Parties, Partners, and the UN Environment/MAP Secretariat and Components. It provides a unique contribution to assessing the status of the Mediterranean ecosystem and the progress towards the achievement of its Good Environmental Status (GES). It is also an important milestone for the UN Environment/MAP system 40-year long experience in monitoring and assessing the marine and coastal environment of the Mediterranean.
The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report represents the current progress in the development of an integrated monitoring programme for the Mediterranean. This is a key element in the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach Roadmap adopted in 2008, and of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) adopted in 2016. IMAP is based on 11 Ecological Objectives for the Mediterranean and defines 27 indicators.
The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report is the result of significant contributions of the Contracting Parties, as well as the large participation of other stakeholders. It will serve as the baseline to define the progress towards GES or maintaining GES and to sharpen and target national monitoring programmes to fill existing gaps. Indications on concrete measures to be taken to achieve GES are contained in the Report and will guide the work for filling knowledge gaps towards the 2019 State of Environment Report and the next 2023 Mediterranean Quality Status Report.
Finally, the 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report not only brings together national data and information to the regional level, but also contributes to current work at the global level including the Regional Process on a Second World Ocean Assessment and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially its ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The online report can be accessed at www.medqsr.org
On 20 February 2018, H.E. Mr. Tomislav Ćorić, Croatian Minister of Environment and Energy, met with H.E. Mr. Blendi Klosi, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Albania and H.E. Mr. Pavle Radulović, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Montenegro. The meeting was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The ministers discussed possible solutions of the problem of land-based marine litter, a global issue dramatically affecting marine and coastal environment. Having in mind the importance of a clean environment and sustainable tourism, representatives of the three countries, being signatories to the Barcelona Convention, stressed the need for the implementation of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS), in order to reduce marine litter quantities in the Adriatic Sea. The ministers agreed that the long and fruitful cooperation of the three countries in the frame of the existing agreements and initiatives, such as the Joint commission for the protection of the Adriatic Sea waters and the coastal areas, the Adriatic Trilateral Initiative and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian region, should be further strengthened with the aim of finding efficient solutions for the marine litter issue in the Adriatic Sea.
On 13 and 14 February 2018, the SIMWESTMED partners met in Marseille, France, to review the progress of project activities. Rich discussions helped the French, Spanish, Italian and Maltese country representatives, as well as international experts to step forward on different major topics. The key steps were agreed to allow for the final drafting of the key reports, with PAP/RAC in a leading role on “MSP within the Barcelona Convention”, “ICZM & MSP integration”, “Land-sea interactions”, stakeholders engagement, etc. The case studies were presented as well. The debate helped fine tune the role of each partner to enable a smooth implementation of planned actions at the level of each pilot, as well as to ensure the complementarity between actions at the project level. PAP/RAC is leading two cases, the Var County and the Tyrrhenian case.
Also, the joint work plan was discussed. It was decided that the final conference of the project would take place on the Mediterranean coast, tentatively in Venice. Finally, the importance of sharing strong messages with DG Mare and the EU Commission on the need to further support transboundary projects on MSP in the Mediterranean was stressed out. To that end, all the partners will make efforts in building bridges with other initiatives in the Mediterranean and beyond. Moreover, interactions with the EU MSP Platform will be encouraged, in terms of technical assistance, communication and synergy building.
Back-to-back to this meeting, the French Biodiversity Agency organised a joint workshop on the assessment of cumulative effects for both, the SIMWESTMED and SIMNORAT projects. The meeting, which was attended by PAP/RAC representatives, paid particular attention to the following key issues: How cumulative impact assessment tools can support the MSP implementation? And, how these tools can be harmonised among the EU member countries and partners?
On 13 February 2018, a meeting with local authorities of the CAMP area (Neum municipality, as the only coastal municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina – B&H) and national authorities, including the MAP and PAP/RAC Focal Point for B&H, was organized in Neum, B&H. In addition to presentation of the draft Feasibility study by the consultant in charge of its preparation, the meeting participants discussed the proposed CAMP activities (horizontal and individual) which would help B&H in the implementation, at the national level, of decisions and obligations from the Barcelona Convention (i.e. IMAP, EcAp indicators to achieve the GES of the area), as well as in the realization of the ICZM priorities, at the local level. The Feasibility study will be finalized within a month when the second meeting is going to be organized to confirm the list of CAMP activities, as well as to ensure preconditions for the signature of the MoU for the CAMP implementation between UNEP/MAP and B&H.
A meeting of the County Committee for integrated coastal and marine management was held on March 7th at the premises of the Šibenik-Knin County. The Committee was founded as a result of the Coastal Plan, prepared in collaboration with PAP/RAC and adopted by the County Assembly. The objective of the meeting was to discuss and adopt the Recommendations for building coastal resilience to climate change impacts, as well as to inform the members on the results of a study on emission of toxic metals from tourist vessels into the sea.
PAP/RAC support the implementation of the Coastal Plan and in the meeting presented the Recommendations, which are the latest result of the joint work on the Plan. The implementation of these recommendations by the local authorities and community would be greatly beneficial for all stakeholders in the coastal zone and help preserve coastal resources for future generations. “The next step will be to present these Recommendations to the representatives of the local authorities, investors and the general public, since the only way to find better and environmentally friendly solutions is to act together”, said Ms. Sanja Slavica Matešić, Head of the Department for Environmental Protection and Municipal Affairs and the Secretary of the Committee.
2018-01-27Buna river project launched in Albania
A PAP/RAC representative participated at a meeting to launch the Buna Delta Protection project organized on 25 January 2018 in Shkodra (Albania). The meeting was attended by around 70 participants from local government, civil society and education bodies from Albania and Montenegro, followed by a field visit to the Buna River-Velipoja Protected Landscape, attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Environment, at the Velipoja Visitor Centre on 27 January 2018.
The Buna Delta Protection Project, supported by the MAVA Foundation, will be coordinated by IUCN ECARO in partnership with PAP/RAC, GWP, Tour du Valat, and INCA. The project will run for five years focusing on the Buna River-Velipoja Protected Landscape, and will look to significantly reduce development threats currently affecting high value wetlands in order to stop further degradation of habitats. Furthermore, the project anticipates restoration activities on damaged wetlands and coastal habitats. In order to address socio-economic issues and human well-being, sustainable tourism and land use practices will be promoted. The site, designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Site) is one of the four Mediterranean coastal wetlands highlighted by the MAVA Foundation to develop best practices that will serve as references for the Mediterranean region.
The “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award” was conferred to Izmir (Turkey) during the high-level session of the 20th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP20), which was held in Tirana, Albania, on 17-20 December 2017. The Contracting Parties established the “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award“ to recognize and reward the efforts of local authorities to improve the environment and the quality of life and to encourage coastal cities and towns in their efforts towards sustainable coastal development.
Mr. Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), introduced the “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award” and the procedure followed for the nomination and selection of the winner, including through public voting. Izmir was selected as the winner of this pilot edition of the award, among 17 applicant-cities. The selection was made through a process applying criteria under four main categories: Nature and biodiversity protection; Built environment; Social, economic, and cultural sustainability; and Governance.
A Deputy Minister of Tourism and Environment of Albania handed a plaque to Mr. Aziz Kocaoglu, Mayor of Izmir, and congratulated on its exemplary implementation of an urban political agenda in the region. The Mayor of Izmir accepted the award on behalf of the people of Izmir and noted the numerous environmental investments and projects implemented in Izmir while encouraging participants to experience the city that thinks about its future.
PAP/RAC greeted this award to the city of Izmir with particular pleasure, knowing that the Coastal Area Management Programme (CAMP) Izmir, one of the first MAP CAMPs implemented from 1990-1993, contributed to setting the city on this path towards sustainability.