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News Archive » Istanbul hosted the 18th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols

Istanbul hosted the 18th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols

11th December 2013 | Updated: 13th December 2013

From 3rd to 6th December 2013 took place in Istanbul (Turkey) the 18th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols. The Contracting Parties hold Ministerial level meetings every two years in order to review the progress achieved during the last biennium and to agree on strategies, budget and programme of work of the following two years.

The Conference, in which CP/RAC took part, gathered leading policy-makers and international organisations from 21 Mediterranean countries to discuss on the state of the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment and make policy decision to ensure a healthy and sustainable Mediterranean.

During the four days meeting, the Contracting Parties reviewed the progress achieved during the 2012-2013 biennium, approved the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium 2014-2015 and adopted several thematic Decisions regarding the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols. Among the adopted decisions, the Contracting Parties approved the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management and the Development of an Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in the Mediterranean in which CP/RAC played a key role.

                                         

The meeting included a Ministerial conference on “Environment-friendly cities” that gathered several Ministers and Mayors from Mediterranean countries that discussed on effective strategies implemented at the regional, national and local levels addressing pressures on the Mediterranean environment from coastal urban populations. In the opening of the session, H.E. Erdogan Bayraktar, Minister of Environment and Urbanization of Turkey, mentioned that it is a well-accepted fact that we have to spread fast practices preventing pollution before its occurrence, highlighting thus SCP as a key approach for the protection of the coastal and marine environment.

The importance of the SCP approach has been highlighted several times during the Conference and this acknowledgement is reflected in the Istanbul Declaration that stated the need for the Contracting Parties to “Strengthen their commitment to accelerate the shift towards Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns by adopting an Action Plan on SCP, which is in line with the commitments adopted at Rio+20 and which aims to reduce the impacts of human activities in the marine and coastal ecosystems”.

Side events were held during the week, including the co-organized by CP/RAC, PAP/RAC, Plan Bleu and Global Footprint Network which was focused on enhancing collaboration between the different components of UNEP/MAP and other institutions to better support countries in the implementation of Green Economy and SCP in the coastal and marine areas of the Mediterranean region.

                             

In order to communicate on the SWITCH-Med Programme, CP/RAC prepared a stand in the exhibition hall and took advantage of the conference to conduct 21 short interviews with high level Mediterranean policy-makers and international stakeholders. The interviewees could expose their views regarding the importance of switching to SCP patterns in order to tackle root causes of the marine and coastal pollution.

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