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Concluding its deliberations last Friday, COP 22 to the Barcelona Convention held its closing plenary, adopting 19 decisions that set the stage for future work and paving the path for a sustainable Mediterranean region.  

Highlights included:

  • Adoption of the Post-2020 Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Region
  • Adoption of the Post 2020 Marine Protected Area (MPA) and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECM) strategy
  • A landmark decision to submit to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regarding a joint and coordinated proposal on the designation of the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulfur Oxides, pursuant to MARPOL Annex VI
  • Important decisions on forthcoming work, including the Programme of Work and budget for the next biennium, and the Medium-Term Strategy 2022-2027
  • Adoption of the Post-2020 Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Region;
  • Adoption of regional measures to support the development of green and circular businesses and to strengthen the demand for more sustainable products, showcasing the holistic approach of the Convention; and
  • Contracting Parties unanimously welcoming offers from Slovenia and Egypt to host COP 23 and COP 24, respectively. 

A day earlier, Ministers of the Environment and Heads of Delegation of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention adopted the Antalya Declaration, one of the main policy outcomes of the meeting. The Antalya Declaration calls for a “Blue Mediterranean: leaving a pollution-free legacy, protecting biodiversity and sustaining climate sustainability”. The declaration constitutes a strong expression of political support to the collective endeavor within the framework of the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention system to achieve a healthy Mediterranean Sea and coast in the context of sustainable development.

The Post-2020 Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biodiversity (SAPBIO) in the Mediterranean Region as well as the Post 2020 Marine Protected Area (MPA) and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECM) strategy were also adopted.

These documents call to strengthen MPA manager networks, including MedPAN, on a regional, subregional, transboundary and national level to support the enhancement of capacities, knowledge, good practices, experience sharing, and the development of joint actions that will support the implementation of the SAPBIO and the new strategy for MPAs and OECMs. 

The 2 strategies also acknowledge the Mediterranean MPA Forum process and call for linkages with the Post-2020 Mediterranean MPA Roadmap that the Forum hybrid event in Monaco just finalised.

MedPAN attended the COP, and Purificacio Canals, its President, delivered a statement in plenary to inform the Parties about the full support from MedPAN to the new strategy for MPAs and OECMs implementation and inform about the Mediterranean MPA Forum held last week in Monaco and invite the Parties to mention the Post-2020 Mediterranean MPA Roadmap in the Antalya Declaration. 

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