The “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award” was conferred to Izmir (Turkey) during the high-level session of the 20th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP20), which was held in Tirana, Albania, on 17-20 December 2017. The Contracting Parties established the “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award“ to recognize and reward the efforts of local authorities to improve the environment and the quality of life and to encourage coastal cities and towns in their efforts towards sustainable coastal development.
Mr. Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), introduced the “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award” and the procedure followed for the nomination and selection of the winner, including through public voting. Izmir was selected as the winner of this pilot edition of the award, among 17 applicant-cities. The selection was made through a process applying criteria under four main categories: Nature and biodiversity protection; Built environment; Social, economic, and cultural sustainability; and Governance.
A Deputy Minister of Tourism and Environment of Albania handed a plaque to Mr. Aziz Kocaoglu, Mayor of Izmir, and congratulated on its exemplary implementation of an urban political agenda in the region. The Mayor of Izmir accepted the award on behalf of the people of Izmir and noted the numerous environmental investments and projects implemented in Izmir while encouraging participants to experience the city that thinks about its future.
PAP/RAC greeted this award to the city of Izmir with particular pleasure, knowing that the Coastal Area Management Programme (CAMP) Izmir, one of the first MAP CAMPs implemented from 1990-1993, contributed to setting the city on this path towards sustainability.