MED News 01/2019

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By Gaetano Leone, Coordinator, UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention Secretariat

The time is ripe for decisive action to accelerate the transition to sustainability in the Mediterranean. As we collectively prepare for the 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP21), let us to take a moment to reflect on what the Mediterranean Action Plan – Barcelona Convention system has accomplished thus far and on what we can do to turn the tide on environmental degradation. The Contracting Parties have built a comprehensive legal and institutional framework encompassing key building blocks for sustainability in the Mediterranean. The network of Regional Activity Centres is providing our community with the required scientific and technical expertise to move forward. What can we do more to ensure that these achievements can translate into a decisive shift to sustainability in the Mediterranean? At this stage, the answer to this question is two-fold: compliance with and full implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols. The Coordinating Unit of the UN Environment/MAP will continue to support Contracting Parties and Partners to make the much-needed progress on capacity-building and resource-mobilization in these areas. But let us remember that the Barcelona Convention is much more than a legal text: it epitomizes the essence of multilateralism and basin-wide solidarity that constitute our greatest strength.

15 July 2019