Med News 02/2019

Check out the last issue! The Map Newsletter as Vademecum for COP21



by Gaetano Leone, Coordinator, UNEP/MAP — Barcelona Convention Secretariat

By the time this issue of the UNEP/MAP newsletter reaches you, we will already be in the final lap of our race to the 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP21) in Naples.

Preparations are in full swing and we are working with the Host Country, Italy, to make COP21 a decisive step forward in our collective endeavor for healthy Mediterranean marine and coastal ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations.

On 23 October 2019, Italy organized a gathering of young representatives of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to provide the Mediterranean Youth with a platform to make their voice heard in the outcome of COP21.

On UN Day (24 October 2019), UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat organized in Athens an encounter with representatives of Mediterranean Civil Society and Academia to thrash out what they perceive as priorities for the UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention system in the coming years.

COP21will be a strategic meeting as representatives of the Contracting Parties are expected to define our new Medium-Term Strategy for 2022-2027 and examine a set of forward-looking decisions on important aspects pertaining to the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols.

The draft decisions on the agenda of COP21 reflect our UNEP/MAP normative role in setting standards and regulations based on the best available scientific knowledge of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast, but also in developing tools enabling the effective implementation of the well-developed, but constantly evolving legal framework that the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols provide.

The COP21 Ministerial Segment will see the participation of ministers, senior policymakers and eminent experts from the Mediterranean region and the world. Two High-Level Panels will notably address four priority themes on the COP21 agenda, namely marine litter, biodiversity and marine protected areas, climate change and the blue economy in the Mediterranean.

I invite you to join our efforts to spread the word about COP21. This year, we are actively promoting the participation of journalists from the Mediterranean region to cover the meeting and to inform citizens in their countries of what will be discussed in Castel dell’Ovo, the historical seaside castle that will serve as a venue for the meeting in Naples.

You can follow developments on COP21 and, more broadly on Barcelona Convention, by following our newly launched Twitter account @UNEPMAPNews, our own UNEP/MAP official hashtag #BarcelonaConvention and the official hashtag of COP21 that we recently unveiled jointly with the Host Country #COP21Napoli.

2 December 2019

Editorial Board