Establishment of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas Network by 2012
Thursday, 11 November 2010
The Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), was held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, from 18 to 29 October 2010. During a 60 minute side event, hosted on the 28th of October 2010, the issue of achieving a better governance of the Mediterranean’s marine and coastal protected areas was discussed. The event was attended by representatives from the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas of UNEP/MAP (SPA/RAC), and cooperating groups, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The side event aimed at sharing the Mediterranean region’s efforts, under the auspices of UNEP/MAP, in achieving the Millenium Development Goals, with regard to the protection of the region’s biodiversity and the creation of marine protected areas.Source: UNEP/MAP, CBD/COP 10
The Mediterranean is one of the world’s most active regions with regard to the conservation and protection of the marine and coastal biodiversity. The adoption of the Specially Protected Areas and Biodiversity Protocol, in 1995, one of the most advanced legal instruments of this kind within the framework of the Barcelona Convention system, and the establishment of the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas and Biodiversity (SPA/RAC) in Tunisia, to facilitate its implementation, indicate this vast effort and the quality of the relevant environmental governance regime. Furthermore, the 13th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution and its Protocols (Catania, 11-14 November, 2003) adopted the Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Diversity (SAP BIO) in the Mediterranean Region, while the 16th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties (Marrakesh, Morocco, 3-5 November 2009) adopted a Decision regarding a "Regional Working Programme for the Coastal and Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean including the High Sea".
In the aforementioned side event, Mediterranean experts expressed their intention to establish, by 2012, an effective network of marine protected areas beyond areas under national jurisdiction, including on the high seas. The purpose of this network is to protect, recover and restore the structure and function of the region’s marine and coastal ecosystems. So far, there have already been established 800 marine and coastal protected areas in the Mediterranean, 25 of which are considered Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMIs).
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