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04.06.2018 The Mediterranean Sea is one of the areas most affected by marine litter in the world with plastic comprising up to 95% of waste accumulated on shorelines, the ocean surface, or sea floor. Approximately 0.5 billion litter items are currently lying on the Mediterranean Seafloor while concentrations floating plastic are comparable with those in the five oceanic garbage patches reaching over 600 items per square kilometer.
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10.05.2018 Cyprus, Greece, and Israel have signed the Implementation Agreement on the Sub-Regional Marine Oil Pollution Contingency Plan. The objective of the Plan is an effective reaction to spills and to facilitate the co-operation among the three countries in the field of oil pollution preparedness and response. The Plan was signed on Tuesday, 8 May along with other instruments for the cooperation among the three countries.
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19.04.2018 The second meeting on the development of indicators to report on the progress of the implementation of Horizon 2020 Initiative for a Cleaner Mediterranean (2015-2020) and National Action Plans to address Pollution from land-based Activities was held in Athens on 17-18 April 2018. The Meeting was organized by UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), Plan Bleu and MED POL Programme, in collaboration with and the European Environment Agency (EEA), under ENI SEIS II Project funded in the framework of the second phase of the H2020 initiative and 2018-2019 MAP PoW..
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05.03.2018 The UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) and General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) organized the Second Meeting of the Joint Sub-regional expert group on the Pilot Study for the Eastern Mediterranean for non-indigenous species, in Chania, Greece on 4 March.
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01.03.2018 The UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan and European Environmental Agency (EEA) held a joint seminar on regional assessments in Copenhagen, on 26-28 February 2018. This seminar was organized with the support of the EU ENI SEISII South Project and featured participants from both organization, including Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of UN Environment/MAP and Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of EEA.
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21.02.2018 The capacity building workshop to support national implementation of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) was held in Rabat, Morocco (19-21 February 2018) under the auspices of the Secretary of State to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development of Morocco and the support of the EU-funded EcAp MED II project. The two-day workshop attracted a high level of participation, including officials and representatives of the Secretary of State, public sector, research and academia, civil society and Non-Governmental Organizations.
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19.02.2018 The Secretariat of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols invites Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to apply for accreditation as Partners of UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP Partners).
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Sandra realizes she has been in a toxic relationship for too long and decides it's time for a break-up. What's more, she has found a new love. This short UN Environment #CleanSeas video takes a lighter look at the issue of marine litter and asks everyone around the world to break-up with single-use plastics and make their pledge at cleanseas.org.  
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25.01.2018 Land-based sources of pollution have a major impact on planetary health and on the oceans. Growing populations, increasingly intensive and large-scale agriculture and booming urbanization often result in more wastewater discharged into rivers, lakes and oceans and nutrient runoff to waterways.
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19.01.2018 As part of the #CleanSeas campaign, UN Environment’s Global Partnership on Marine Litter is launching a massive open online course on marine plastic pollution in Spanish. The MOOC provides two different opportunities for interactive learning: a two-week leadership track offering an inspiring overview of the issue; and an eight-week expert track for more in-depth information on microplastics, sea-based sources and governance for example. The course begins on 29 January 2018
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On the fourth and final day of their meeting held in Tirana, Albania, the Contracting Parties adopted the proceedings of the meeting, including 14 thematic decisions. These strategic documents will guide the work to be carried out in the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan in the 2018-2019 biennium and beyond. The final report of the meeting will be published by the Coordinating Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan and will be available for downloading in the MAP meeting documents repository.
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The 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report was launched at the 20th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, held in Tirana, Albania, on 17-20 December 2017. On that occasion, the Contracting Parties, i.e. 21 riparian countries of the Mediterranean and the EU, endorsed the key findings of the Report and welcomed its recommendations.
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UN Environment's Regional Seas Programme, launched in 1974, support 143 countries to protect their marine resources and the millions of people who depend on them. One objective of the Programme is to work for global environmental responsibility in regards to sea-based pollution. Highlights from the Regional Seas Programme This video is one out of five portraying the work of UN Environment's Regional Seas Programme.
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We, Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (the Barcelona Convention) and its Protocols, meeting in Tirana, Albania, on 19 December 2017, Recalling the importance of the regional dimension for the implementation of global strategies and agendas,
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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 which is being held in Tirana, Albania (17-20 December 2017). Mr. Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the Mediterranean Action Plan, introduced the “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award” and the procedure followed for the nomination and selection of the winner, including through public voting.
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Representatives of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention their 20th Ordinary meeting in Tirana, Albania, discussed “Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with focus on Sustainable Development Goal 14: Pollution and Biodiversity” during the high-level session which opened today.
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Representatives of the Contracting Parties continued their deliberations on several thematic decision during the second day of their biennial meeting that is being held in Tirana, Albania from 17 to 20 December. At the end of the second day’s session, the following decisions have been cleared by the meeting for adoption:
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The Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols opened their twentieth ordinary meeting (COP 20) on 17 December 2017, during which they will discuss the progress achieved in the implementation of the programme of work for the 2016-2017 biennium and make policy decisions on activities to enhance environmental protection and sustainable development in the Mediterranean.
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Members of the staff as well as family and friends of the UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan Coordinating Unit participated in the 35th edition of the Athens Marathon. The team dressed in UN Environment / MAP-branded gear to raise awareness of the environmental conservation efforts in the Mediterranean while achieving their running goals at the finish lines of the 10 km and 5 km races.
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Marine litter was the main focus of two meetings organized by the UN Environment/MAP – Barcelona Convention Secretariat in the framework of “Marine Litter Week” in Barcelona, Spain: The second meeting of the Regional Cooperation Platform on Marine Litter in the Mediterranean (9-10 November 2017), and the first steering committee meeting of the EU-funded Marine Litter MED project (10 November 2017).
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A bilateral meeting between the Secretariats of the UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) and the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, was held in Barcelona, Spain, on the 8th November 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to identify priority areas and opportunities for future collaboration between the Barcelona Convention and the Basel and Stockholm Conventions Regional Centers particularly in relation to marine litter, plastics and microplastics, and the environmentally sound management of plastic wastes.
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The Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) 10th annual conference was held in Beirut, Lebanon, on 2-3 November 2017. The conference was opened with the launch of the new report entitled “Arab Environment in 10 years”, presented by Najib Saab, Secretary General of AFED. The report, which is the tenth in a series on the State of Arab Environment, tracks changes in environment in Arab countries over the last decade, using AFED’s 2008 report as a baseline for comparison and proposing an alternative path for the future.
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The United Nations and Greek flags flew along-side each other on the Acropolis of Athens today, in honour of United Nations Day celebrated every year on 24 October. Representatives of the United Nations offices based in Greece as well as of the Greek state, gathered to watch the flag raising ceremony by the Presidential Guard Evzones.
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The oil tanker “AGIA ZONI II” CS: SVAD4 - Greek flag – IMO No: 7126152 sank off Piraeus, Greece, on 10 September 2017, with 2.195 M/T fuel oil, 340 M/T marine gas oil as cargo, 15 M/T marine gas oil as bunkers and 300 L lubricants on board. Further to the request for assistance published by the Hellenic Coast Guard on the Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS) and the acceptance of REMPEC’s offer, two (2) experts have been mobilised for a mission in Athens, Greece, from 8 to 14 October 2017, in the framework of the Mediterranean Assistance Unit (MAU).
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The first regional meeting on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), organized in the framework of the SIMWESTMED Project by the Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC), was held in Hyères, France on 5 October. With the aim of facilitating the exchange of experiences, and identifying opportunities for cooperation on MSP implementation in the Western Mediterranean region, the meeting brought together the project partners as well as key national and regional actors involved in the implementation of ICZM and the application of MSP in the region.

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