One of the major events in the framework of the French Presidency to the EU took place in Nice, on 18-19 December 2008. This was a seminar on “Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean - from local to regional, how to stop the loss of biodiversity?” that gathered government representatives, local authorities, managers, field players and NGOs from the countries involved in the Union for the Mediterranean. The main objective of the seminar was to discuss the implementation of the ICZM Protocol and to contribute to action guidelines aiming at the development of sustainable and genuinely integrated initiatives to stop the loss of Mediterranean biodiversity.
On the first day of the seminar, the ICZM policies and examples were presented followed by four thematic workshops on: Sustainable tourism; ICZM in the face of climate change; Players, networks and governance; and Coastal zone, protected areas and ecological continuity. Very productive workshops presented their results on the following day.
The seminar was an excellent opportunity to give an additional impetus to the countries that have not yet signed the Protocol and especially a good stimulus to those that have already started the Protocol ratification process. Also, this event was of particular importance for PAP/RAC and MAP as it showed that there was a lot of hope for a better management and sustainable development of the Mediterranean coastal areas and their populations with all relevant players. Due to this, we all hope for a soon and effective implementation of this unique international legal instrument.