Upon the invitation of the United Nations Environment Programme Coordinating Unit for the marine pollution assessment and control component of the Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP MED POL), the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association-HELMEPA participated in the first meeting of the government-designated experts and NGOs in Barcelona, Spain between 17 and 18 May 2013. The summit’s objective was to review the Draft Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management put forward following the 17th meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, held in 2012 in Paris.
The reasoning behind preparing such a document is to improve the quality of the marine and coastal environment, according to the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution from Land-Based Sources (LBS Protocol). Concrete targets have been set to monitor, assess, manage, remove existing and prevent the generation of marine litter through the implementation of appropriate policy, focused programmes and awareness and education schemes.
Following two days of intense deliberations and debate over amendments to the Draft to be made, scientific specialists from across the Mediterranean together with representatives from other relevant MAP Regional Partners including Regional Activity Center for Cleaner Production (CP/RAC) and the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE), finalized the Draft, with the agreed texts to be submitted for further consideration by the MED POL Focal Points meeting. The text will subsequently be up for adoption at the next meeting of the Contracting Parties in Istanbul this December.