COP 14 very positive for PAP/RAC

25.11.2005

The 14th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Regions of the Mediterranean and its Protocols (COP 14) was held in Portoroz, Slovenia, on November 8-11, 2005, under the motto "The sea deserves our voice". This was also the opportunity to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mediterranean Action Plan.

Very important recommendations were adopted by the conference with regard to the PAP/RAC work programme for the next biennium (2006-2007), which will definitely have its reflection in the better management of coastal areas of the Mediterranean in the coming years. First of all, a very positive reaction was received by the delegates concerning the Protocol on ICAM, whose preparation is under the responsibility of PAP/RAC. The meeting decided to establish a working group of experts designated by the Contracting Parties in order to develop a draft text of the Protocol on ICAM with a view to its consideration and possible approval by the COP 15 in 2007. Also, the proposed programme and the budget for the 2006-7 biennium were approved without remarks. In the presentation given by PAP/RAC Director, a number of tools for ICAM and the introduction of new topics, such as marine spatial planning, coastal erosion, coastal landscape management and beach management were underlined as important priorities for the Centre. The continuation of CAMP activities in Cyprus, Spain and Slovenia will be paid a special attention, as well as the preparation of new projects in Morocco and Serbia and Montenegro.

The conference adopted the Portoroz Declaration where the main priorities to orient MAP focus in the biennium to come were agreed. This includes the implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD), the endorsement of National Action Programme (NAP) and the implementation of the Action Plan for monk seal, as well as the preparation of the strategic vision for MAP in the future.

Prior to the COP 14, PAP/RAC Deputy Director attended the Steering Committee meeting for the CAMP Slovenia project, which was held in Piran and where results of individual project activities up to date were presented. The Committee commented and adopted relevant recommendations for the continuation of the project. CAMP Slovenia project was also presented to general public and media as a side event to COP 14 at the press conference on November 7. The project posters and the related power point presentation were also prepared and the participants to COP 14 could follow it on the screen in the conference centre several times during the meeting.

PAP/RAC also participated in other side events, and more actively at the Marevivo (Italian NGO) workshop on "motor-ways of the sea" where the draft ICAM Protocol was introduced.

During the conference PAP/RAC met with many national delegates and a couple of meetings were organised, such as for the CAMP Levante de Almeria, Spain project, where the next steps in the formulation of this CAMP were discussed, in particular, the preparation of the project Agreement and its Terms of Reference where other RACs are involved.

PAP/RAC took the advantage of the presence of delegates from various countries, NGOs, institutions and related partners, and distributed many of its publications and leaflets related to the Centre's projects.

All in all, PAP/RAC can conclude that COP 14 was a very positive event for the future endeavours of the Centre.

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