Athens, 11 February 2016 – During a high level event of the Barcelona Convention CoP 19 meeting, hosted by the Greek Government in Athens, Mediterranean ministers and parties contracted to the Convention, renewed their commitment to enhance measures to reduce pressures on their marine and coastal environment.
The ministerial session was opened by Mr. Ioannis Tsironis Alternate Minister of
Environment and Energy of Greece. With the theme "Forty Years of Cooperation for Healthy
and Productive Mediterranean Sea and Coast: A Collective Journey Towards Sustainable
Development", participants to the meeting celebrated with pride the 40th anniversary of the
Barcelona Convention, which, together with the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP),
represents one of the most advanced legal regimes worldwide for the protection of marine
and coastal environment.
Representing UNEP, Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, Mr.
Ibrahim Thiaw said: “that this meeting was one of the first major conferences taking place
after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. While 2015 will be
remembered as a major milestone in terms of international agreements, 2016 has been
called the year for implementation and delivery. We must seize that opportunity, and ride
Highlighting their concerns by the continued threats posed to the Mediterranean by major
pressures affecting the sea and its coastal inhabitants, the Mediterranean ministers adopted
the Athens Declaration, in which they pledged to implement the instruments, programmes,
action plans and guidelines adopted at COP 19 -to prevent pollution from maritime
transport, marine exploration, and land-based activities, protect biodiversity, manage
coastal zones, and increase the resilience of the Mediterranean to the impacts of climate
change -, as crucial means for the achievement of the objectives of the Barcelona
Convention and its Protocols.
Two memoranda of understanding (MoU) were also signed with the Black Sea Convention
and ACCOBAMS secretariats respectively.