For the second year in a row, Mediterranean Coastal Day was celebrated in compliance with the restrictions linked to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, this did not prevent the events from being festive and bringing together a large audience, especially when they were virtual! Celebrations were organized both at regional level and in many Mediterranean countries.

Among the many initiatives at the regional level, it is worth mentioning in particular the organization of a digital awareness campaign through a website dedicated to the event by INFO/RAC with the support of PAP/RAC and the UNEP/MAP Coordinating Unit. The website contains all the information on this emblematic event, as well as games for all ages to test your knowledge of the coast. It also allows all users of the coast to inform about events they plan to organize so that they are announced on our official page. This site is intended to be permanent, and to be enriched over the years.

The central event of the Mediterranean Coast Day this year took the form of a webinar organized by PAP/RAC on September 27th. The main themes of the webinar were coastal urbanization and tourism, two intrinsically linked themes. The host country of the webinar was Greece, which was represented on this occasion by its Secretary General of the Natural Environment and Water of the Ministry of the Environment, Professor Konstantinos Aravossis. In his introductory speech, Professor Aravossis underlined that these two themes were essential for the entire Mediterranean basin, and in particular for Greece. Professor Aravossis also took advantage of his speech to speak about another major issue in the Mediterranean: marine plastic waste. He stressed the need for immediate action to combat this scourge. The appointment by Zeljka Skaricic, Director of PAP/RAC, of ​​Lefteris Arapakis as Ambassador of the Mediterranean Coast 2021 responds directly to this need, since this young man is the co-founder of a company that collects and recycles plastic waste brought up by fishermen to transform them into clothes and other accessories. Tatjana Hema, MAP coordinator, said that Lefteris, who is the son of a fisherman, was a model of bottom-up initiative because he had succeeded through his motivation in finding an innovative solution to a major problem. She insisted that the experience was particularly inspiring, and that she hoped that the young people of the Mediterranean would follow suit.

Other regional webinars were also organized, such as that of the International Center for Comparative Environmental Law which took place on September 25 and which was entitled “An Effective Law at the service of the Mediterranean Sea: stop plastic pollution and establish legal indicators”. During this event, the participants were invited to discuss how to make the legal rules for the protection of the Mediterranean more effective. The development of environmental legal indicators as an additional guarantee of protection was mentioned in particular.

Also on September 25, a “Mediterranean Ocean Literacy Festival” was organized by the EU4Ocean Coalition with the support of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Ocean literacy initiatives and activities from across the Mediterranean were presented.

In addition to these regional events, many celebrations were organized at the local level, either live or through webinars.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H): As part of the B&H Coastal Area Management Plan, activities were organized on September 23 and 24 for the Mediterranean Coast Day. The 23rd was devoted to capacity building and two training workshops dedicated to the sustainable development of tourism were organized. The key issue was to decide how to promote tourism in the hinterland in the Neum region. The second day was more festive, since schoolchildren had prepared a musical show to which a large audience was invited, and young people were involved in cleaning the beaches.

Cyprus: On September 24, 2021, Mediterranean Coast Day was celebrated in Geroskipou in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Mr. Costas Kadis. The campaign was organized by the NGO AKTI with the support of the Department of Environment, the Municipality of Geroskipou and the Mediterranean office of MOI-ESCEDE. Among the events organized, it is worth mentionning a beach cleaning action by high school students from Geroskipou; sorting waste and recording data in the AKTIS ocean protection database; and the cleaning of the seabed by divers. The highlights of the event are shown in the following video.

Italy: In the afternoon of September 24, the National Convention on Coastal Studies (CNSC) was held at the Fiere e Congressi in Ferrara, as part of the technology fair RemTechExpo2021, which brings together events dedicated to management and coastal and marine protection, as well as coastal engineering and small ports. The event brought together the most competitive companies in the sector, as well as representatives of key authorities, including ministries, port authorities, regions and others.

Slovenia: Even if due to the COVID 19 epidemic, Slovenia has not been able this year to celebrate the Mediterranean Coast Day as it has done every year for a decade, it has decided to dedicate all the same an important event on its coast by organizing the 6th week of the Mediterranean coast and macro-regional strategies 2021 in November 2021. The event will bring together politicians, decision-makers, experts, civil society and the public interested in all the levels - local, regional, national and international. The aim of this year's event is to further enhance collaboration between EUSAIR countries, as well as to strengthen macro-regional efforts of the EU and neighboring countries. The event will be organized online on 9-11 and 22-23 November 2021 on the common stakeholder platform EUSAIR. The platform also contains a lively space for interventions, debates, networking and the exchange of views.

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published on 2022/03/03 14:02:15 GMT+0 last modified 2022-03-03T14:02:15+00:00