Working together for the Mediterranean: IUCN signs an agreement with the Barcelona Convention

03 December 2013 | News story

In the framework of the 18th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of Mediterranean, the Secretariat of the Barcelona Convention/Mediterranean Action Plan and IUCN signed today a Programme of Cooperation to more efficiently address issues related to the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems and the sustainable use of marine living resources in the Mediterranean region.

This agreement reinforces the path of collaboration between the Barcelona Convention and IUCN, and will enable more harmonized activities, optimize the use of resources and enhance the impacts of the outcomes of each institution’s efforts.

The Programme of Cooperation will focus on the promotion of ecosystem-based solutions, the identification of new coastal and marine areas of particular importance in the Mediterranean as well as the protection and better management of existing marine protected areas. Furthermore, both institutions agreed to promote activities and studies to better understand and enhance valuation of Mediterranean ecosystems’ goods and services and foster the legal and institutional framework for a better governance of natural resources in the region.

Poul Engberg-Pedersen, IUCN Deputy Director General, emphasizes that “the Barcelona Convention/Mediterranean Action Plan is the key regional organization that assists countries towards a more sustainable use of marine and coastal natural resources. IUCN will contribute to this programme with the latest science and knowledge, our network of experts and partners and expertise from field projects around the world, and in particular, with the support of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation based in Malaga.”

Maria Luisa Silva, Executive Secretary of UNEP/MAP, welcomes the opportunity for a meaningful partnership with IUCN to help facilitate the implementation of the Mediterranean Action Plan and its Strategies within the framework of the Barcelona Convention.

The 18th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols is taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 3 to 6 December 2013. The meeting includes a Ministerial conference on “Environment-friendly cities”. Ministers from Mediterranean countries are expected to discuss effective strategies implemented at the regional, national, and local levels, that address pressures on the Mediterranean environment from coastal urban populations.

For further information contact: Antonio Troya