Towards a regional roadmap for a circular economy in the Mediterranean
18th COP of the Barcelona Convention has been a key milestone for the integration of sustainable consumption and production practices into the regional policy framework, namely the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention. All signatories of the Convention i.e. 21 Mediterranean countries endorsed the development of a regional roadmap on sustainable consumption and production.
SWITCH-Med Programme was presented at the 18th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP) to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols, which took place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 3rd to 6th December 2013.
The conference gathered leading policy-makers and international organisations from 21 Mediterranean countries to discuss on the state of the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment and make policy decision to ensure a healthy and sustainable Mediterranean.
During the four days meeting, the Contracting Parties reviewed the progress achieved during the 2012-2013 biennium, approved the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium 2014-2015 and adopted several thematic Decisions regarding the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols. Among the adopted decisions, the Contracting Parties approved the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management and the Development of an Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in the Mediterranean in which SCP/RAC played a key role.
The importance of the SCP approach has been highlighted several times during the Conference and so reflected in the Istanbul Declaration that stated the need for the Contracting Parties to “Strengthen their commitment to accelerate the shift towards Sustainable Consumption and Production patterns by adopting an Action Plan on SCP, which is in line with the commitments adopted at Rio+20 and which aims to reduce the impacts of human activities in the marine and coastal ecosystems”.
Side events were held during the week, including the co-organized by SCP/RAC, PAP/RAC, Plan Bleu and Global Footprint Network on “Together towards Green Economy in the Mediterranean Coastal and Marine Areas” which was focused on enhancing collaboration between the different components of UNEP/MAP and other institutions to better support countries in the implementation of Green Economy and SCP in the coastal and marine areas of the Mediterranean region.
During the 18th COP, SWITCH-Med had a stand in the exhibition hall and interviewed key Mediterranean Policy Makers and international institutions. Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, explained that “the Mediterranean could be a potential pilot region for applying the upcoming sustainable development goals that are currently being developed. Moreover, it is crucial to have a joint action both in the north and in the south, as at the end, there is only one Mediterranean Sea¨. See the vídeos by clicking here.
SWITCH-Med is currently developing SCP National Action Plans for 9 Mediterranean countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Lebanon.