From Malaga to the Mediterranean – Highlights Winter 2018

With an ecosystem based approach to marine and terrestrial biodiversity protection and management, the ETC-UMA has been working hard with the organization of several events across the Mediterranean, including our latest workshop and public hearing at the European Parliament on 4 and 5 December 2018 and the preparations for our new biodiversity protection knowledge platform.

Moreover, we have been extremely busy strengthening links with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the United Nations Environment Programme / UNEP-MAP and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to assist coordinate and transfer current collaborative efforts towards sustainability in the Mediterranean at various levels. Below a taste of what has been happening over the last couple of months:


CBD COP14 workshop on Ecosystem based management and cumulative impacts

ETC-UMA, together with the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, organized a side event back-to-back the CBD COP 14 (Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity) in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, 27 November 2018.

The event “Ecosystem-based approaches to managing transboundary and cumulative impacts in the Mediterranean with a special focus on marine plastic litter and climate change” presented methods and processes that are scientifically and politically relevant to better implement EBM in the Mediterranean.

Ecosystem based management (EBM) is an important and powerful approach which directly links ecosystem state to pressures, and requires transboundary assessment, monitoring and management. The application to different scenarios and conditions has proven successful in dealing with transboundary impacts worldwide. EBM case studies that maintain the integrity of ecoregions in the Mediterranean were highlighted during the event, as they can also resonate globally.

The event welcomed exchanges among relevant Mediterranean stakeholders – managers, policymakers, socioeconomic actors, civil society and the scientific community, and highlighted processes to ensure their active engagement and empowerment, allowing for a balance between ecological, economic, and social values.

You can access the agenda here and initial set of key messages here (full report to be published in early 2019).


Collaboration with the Union for the Mediterranean Environment and Climate Change working group

Following the participation in the 9th Horizon 2020 Steering Committee and the Task Force on Environment and Climate Change meetings held on 29 and 30 January 2018 in Jordan, supported by the EU DG ENV and DG NEAR,  the ETC-UMA was again invited to participate in the Second Meeting of the Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC) on 12-13 November 2018 in Barcelona, Spain to update the group on the latest developments by the Interreg Med Biodiversity Protection Community of projects. The Working Group is mandated to meet regularly, at least every two years, and where appropriate in synergy with other regional meetings dealing with environment or climate issues. The Working group aims to review progress and make recommendations based on the 2014 UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Change, and provide suggestions for further action and follow up.

You can find here the Declaration of the Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change.


Participation in the United Nations Regional Cooperation Platform for Marine litter

Building on the initial contributions by ETC-UMA to the platform during the meeting held in November 2017 in Barcelona, the Third Meeting of the Regional Cooperation Platform on Marine Litter Management coordinated by UN Environment/ MAP Secretariat was held in Izmir, Turkey on 11 and 12 October 2018, at the invitation of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality. The Meeting noted the work undertaken by all members of the Platform to address marine litter management in the Mediterranean, in particular on monitoring, assessment, marine protection areas, measures, and support to Mediterranean countries through different projects, etc. ETC-UMA presented the Interreg Med Biodiversity Protection knowledge platform and updated participants on the marine litter monitoring and management schemes under way in particular by the PANACeA Working group 1 including the projects Act4Litter, MedSeaLitter, PlasticBustersMPAs and BlueIslands.

You can access the Conclusions of the meeting in Izmir here.


ETC-UMA goes on air

And last, but not least, ETC-UMA has been featured in the radio programme SOStenible on 20 November 2018 by Canal Málaga. In case you missed it, you can hear it again (in Spanish) in this link.


More to follow next year!