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On behalf of the French Government, Mr. Xavier Sticker, Ambassador for the Environment, signed on 4 September 2014, an agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) on the coastal zone management of the department of Var.
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It has become tradition in the Mediterranean to celebrate the Coast Day on 25 September, after it had first been organised in 2007. Its main purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of the coast as both natural and economic resource, as well as to warn of the risks it is exposed to due to natural phenomena and human actions. ICZM is extensively promoted as the optimal policy framework for achieving sustainable development of coastal areas.
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The measures and timetables of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS) in December 2013, became binding on 8 July 2014. The Regional Plan addresses the complex challenges posed in the Mediterranean region by marine litter, a global issue dramatically affecting marine and coastal environment.
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The revised strategy will focus on seas and coasts, natural resources, rural areas and food, climate, sustainable cities, green economy transition, and governance The Steering Committee of the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (MCSD) held its 15th meeting on 11 and 12 June 2014 in Malta and discussed the progress in activities related to sustainable development in the Mediterranean region.
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other High-Level Representatives from 160 UN Member and Observer States, UN Heads of Agencies, Business and Civil Society Set to participate Nairobi, 29 May 2014 - The First UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) will convene in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 June 2014. This marks a historic milestone in UNEP’s 43-year history and is expected to be attended by high-level delegations from over 160 UN Member and Observer States.
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22.05.2014 Monitoring experts designated by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, as well as interested stakeholders, participated in the first Meeting of the Mediterranean Correspondence Group on Monitoring (CORMON) under the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp). The meeting was held in Athens, Greece, on 8 and 9 May 2014, and organized by UNEP/MAP, the Barcelona Convention Secretariat. It aimed to further specify the monitoring needs of the pollution and litter related Ecological Objectives, and indicators set out by the EcAp roadmap.
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14.05.2014 Ministers from countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) encouraged the Union to closely cooperate with the Barcelona Convention for reducing pollution pressures and increasing resource efficiency. Ministers in charge of environment and climate change from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) gathered on 13 May 2014 in Athens within the framework the Horizon 2020.
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13.05.2014 The H2020 Mediterranean Report is a joint effort of the EEA and UNEP/MAP resulting from the creation of a regular review mechanism of environmental progress in the three H2020 policy priorities. These are municipal waste, urban waste water and industrial pollution. The report also serves as a contribution to the mid-term review of the H2020 initiative.
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06.05.2014 The ECAP Correspondence Group on Monitoring (CORMON) will hold its first meeting on 8 and 9 May 2014 in Athens, with a focus on monitoring the pollution and litter cluster. Experts from contracting parties, and NGOS are expected to attend the meeting. Building on the outcomes of the last CORGEST meeting on common indicators, the group will review a proposal on major elements of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme with regards to contaminants, eutrophication and marine litter.
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The use of plastic bags leaves enormous environmental damage. Almost never reused, and often ending up as litter, they cause the death of at least one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. Under the auspices of the UNEP/MAP - the Barcelona Convention Secretariat, and with focus on the reduction of plastic carrier bags usage, a major problem for the marine environment, the 19th "Clean-Up the Med 2014" campaign was launched in Athens on 29th April 2014.
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A CBD regional workshop jointly organized with the Barcelona Convention Secretariat facilitates the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) in the Mediterranean.
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At their 18th Ordinary Meeting in December 2013, the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention requested the Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention / Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) to launch the review process of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD), adopted in 2005. The Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre (PB/RAC) was also requested to support the process through the provision of monitoring information and reporting data on the MSSD implementation, including from relevant programmes in the Mediterranean region that have an impact on MSSD outcomes.
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14.04.2014 The focal points of UNEP/MAP MED POL Programme for the Assessment and Control of Pollution in the Mediterranean Region acknowledged the progress made in the implementation of the Strategic Action Plans/National Action Plans (SAP/NAPs) on pollution reduction and control, with regards to the national legal, and regulatory policy framework, reporting capacities as well as their NAP investment portfolio.
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03.04.2014 UNEP/MAP and CBD are organizing a Mediterranean regional workshop to facilitate the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs), from 7 to 11 April 2014, in Málaga, Spain. The workshop will gather experts from the Mediterranean region, with solid scientific knowledge and research experience related to ecologically or biologically significant marine areas, and is financially supported by the Government of Spain, the UNEP/MAP Mediterranean Trust Fund and the European Commission.
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17.03.2014 The Focal Points of the MED POL Programme for the Assessment and Control of Pollution in the Mediterranean Region will meet in Athens (Greece) from 26 to 28 March 2014 in the presence of representatives of 22 Contracting Parties, as well as partners. The meeting aims to initiate work on the process of updating the National Action Plans (NAPs) to address land-based pollution, and on the third 5-year cycle of reporting on National Baseline Budgets of Pollutant Emissions and Releases (NBBs).
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More than 100 participants attended the workshop organized by SCP/RAC and MEDPOL on Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) management in Alexandria, with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of State of Environmental Affairs (MSEA), from 24 to 27 February on 2014. The workshop aimed at introducing the environmentally sound management (ESM) of PCBs to local experts while also training them on oil sampling and analysis of PCBs by using the semi-mobile analyzer L2000DX.
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The MedPartnership Steering Committee concluded its fourth meeting held in Hammamet, Tunisia, from 17 to 20 February 2014, in the presence of country focal points, executing partners and donors. The meeting reviewed the activities implemented under the four components of the project throughout 2012-2013 highlighting challenges and lessons learnt.
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Tunisia, 17 February 2014 - With the kind support and hosting of the Government of Tunisia, the Steering Committee of the MedPartnership project is holding its fourth meeting from 17 to 20 February 2014.
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The review process of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) was launched today by the Maltese Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change, the Hon Mr Leo Brincat, during a ceremony held in Malta. This follows a decision of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention made during their recent 18th ordinary meeting in Istanbul (CoP18). The launching was attended by Mr.
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Ministers and Heads of Delegations from 21 Mediterranean Countries Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, and the European Commission committed to take all the necessary measures to make the Mediterranean a clean, healthy and productive sea with conserved ecosystems. This came in the framework of the 18th Ordinary Contracting parties meeting (CoP 18) that was held in Turkey from 3 to 6 December, organized by UNEP/MAP, the Barcelona Convention Secretariat and hosted by the Turkish Government.
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03.12.2013 (Istanbul) Representatives of 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union started their 4-day discussions on the state of their shared marine and coastal environment and on policy decisions to ensure a healthy and productive Mediterranean. This comes within 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 and its Protocols (CoP18), held every two years.
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29.11.2013 (Athens) Leading policy-makers from 21 Mediterranean countries as well as the European Union will meet in Istanbul on 3-6 December 2013 to discuss the state of their shared marine and coastal environment and make policy decisions to ensure a healthy and productive Mediterranean.
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06.11.2013 The Workshop on Regional Response Capacity and Co-ordination for Major Oil Spill in the Mediterranean Sea (MEDEXPOL 2013), will be held in Athens, Greece between on 10-12 December 2013. As announced at the 1st Meeting of the ad hoc Working Group on the Offshore Protocol, MEDEXPOL 2013 will also address contingency planning and response operations in case of an offshore incident as well as progress made in the implementation of Decision IG.20/12 on the Action Plan to implement the Offshore Protocol. The principal objectives of the Workshop will be:
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01.11.2013 A National Seminar on the Ballast Water Management Convention was held in Algeria between the 1 and 2 October 2013. The Seminar, which was organised by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) in close co-operation with the Ministry of Transport of Algeria was funded by IMO’s Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (ITCP) and supported by the GEF/UNDP/IMO GloBallast Partnerships Project. REMPEC is the Regional Coordinating Organization (RCO) for the GloBallast Project in the Mediterranean.

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