The SPA/RAC’s Contributions to the COP 14 Convention for Biological Diversity

The recently held Conference of Parties (COP 14) of the CBD in Egypt was attended by a total of 3,800 participants, representing numerous occupations and backgrounds. The theme and subject  of importance for the Convention were the protection of biodiversity in the World as well as the involvement of the local population in the conservation of resources and biodiversity. Along with the different plenary events that took place in the Convention, there were some side events on show as well.

Some of these side events were organized, by the UN Environment/MAP-SPA/RAC in conjunction with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and other relevant regional partners, in order to discuss the importance of marine life in the Mediterranean along with the steps being taken to conserve it, including:

The Barcelona Convention and What It Offered in Egypt

The Barcelona Convention provides a regional cooperation framework for promoting the conservation of marine and costal biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

At the CBD COP 14, SPA/RAC presented the work currently being done to conserve the biodiversity of the Mediterranean coasts of Egypt, especially the activities undertaken within the MedMPA Network project, funded by the European Union, to develop the network of marine protected areas, as per the aims and priorities of the Barcelona Convention.

At the event, the main talks included discussing future actions, with insight being offered into what might come next and exactly what might be needed beyond 2020 in order to keep the Barcelona Convention’s programmes in line with global agenda and targets, in particular those related to SDG 14 and Aichi Biodiversity Target 11. This includes the need to further support the implementation of the ecosystem approach and its integration in the environmental policies.

Global Dialogues on Sustainable Ocean Initiatives

The Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) is a United Nations global platform to build partnerships and enhance capacity to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets to which the UN Environment/MAP-SPA/RAC has been actively contributing, as it aims to provide a sustainable and long-lasting solution for marine life preservation. The Sustainable Ocean Initiative has been launched, handled, and promoted particularly to meet the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 at sea, with many major outcomes currently being planned or being operated.

At the CBD COP14, SPA/RAC contributed to the promotion of the global dialogue involving Regional Fisheries Bodies and Regional Sea Organizations, thus supporting SDGs 6, 11 and 14 while aiding to reach Aichi Target 11. This included presenting the Mediterranean experience in a cross-sectorial collaboration, in particular between UN Environment/MAP – Barcelona Convention and the FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean. This dialogue and attention oriented towards regional participation allowed to achieve some tangible results and to produce key outcomes.


Generating Marine Data and Services for North Africa

In order to protect marine life and the human activities that depend on it, the support of the national authorities and local people may be required. Many countries in North Africa lack of observatories to collect real time marine data and the associated services of data processing and modelling. That is something SPA/RAC has been focusing on, with COP 14 providing a perfect opportunity to showcase more of this activity undertaken in the framework of the ODYSSEA project financed by European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

With hosts UNEP-WCMC | SPA/RAC | RAED | Deltares combining to lead the event, there was a general focus on innovation and solutions that can make a difference. The general topic of discussion was offering better marine data and services to facilitate better decision making in the North African region and the Mediterranean in terms of ecosystem management and human activities. With accurate data available on demand, through an interoperable platform linking data and services from at least nine Mediterranean observatories, this objective becomes easier to achieve.

An Ecosystem Approach to the Conservation of Biodiversity in the Mediterranean

Applying the Ecosystem based management (EBM) to protect biodiversity was one of the topics where SPA/RAC participated in through a side event during COP 14. The event organized by UfM - ETC-UMA with the participation of SPA/RAC discussed a number of topics that focused on EBM tools and policy processes to address transboundary and cumulative impacts in the Mediterranean of marine plastic litter and climate change.

Ecosystem based management case studies were presented during the event. The meeting welcomed exchanges among Mediterranean stakeholders – managers, policymakers, socioeconomic actors, civil society and the scientific community, and highlighted processes to ensure their active engagement, allowing for a balance between ecological, economic, and social aspects.


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published on 2019/07/01 00:00:00 GMT+0 last modified 2019-07-24T09:38:56+00:00