“Caring for our Coasts”, Mediterranean and Italian experiences in coastal area management – Jan 17, 2017

Under the main theme of "Caring for our Coasts - Mediterranean and Italian Experiences", the Coastal Area Management Program for Italy (CAMP Italy) held its final conference on Tuesday 17 January 2017 in Rome, in the presence of Mrs Maria Carmela Giarratano, General Director of the Ministry of the Environment, Land, and Sea Protection of Italy, and Mr. Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the UN environment / Mediterranean Action Plan, Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention.

Launched in Italy in 2014, and co-signed by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea Protection and UN environment / Mediterranean Action Plan, the programme was implemented in three Italian regions, namely Emilia-Romagna, Sardinia and Tuscany, in collaboration with the Mediterranean Action Plan component Priority Action Programme Regional Activity Centre.

The conference presented the main results and methodologies of the two-year project, and their integration within the Mediterranean and international contexts. In his opening address, M. Leone said: “CAMP Italy has been an excellent example of the value of the concept that is at the basis of this type of initiative. It  contributed in a  major way to the implementation of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol of the Barcelona Convention in Italy, as a main tool for achieving sustainable development. The work does not end today. Let us reaffirm our strong commitment to action, to actively engage and work cooperatively across different sectors in order to generate win-win situations that sustain our coasts for the benefit of all. We are proud to have been part of this excellent programme and will do our best to ensure its successful implementation and dissemination of its achievements”.

CAMP Italy focused on three main themes: planning of marine and coastal areas; protection, preservation and restoration of coastal and marine habitats; sustainability of socio-economic stress on the coastal zone. Within the framework of the project, the three regions developed strategies and procedures for the rational use of coastal and marine resources and the environmental protection, with the objective of identifying and operatively testing methodologies, instruments and best practices for sustainable development of the coast and valorization of the Italian historical heritage and landscape. Tools and methodologies developed were not only useful for the management of the project, but also replicable within the network of CAMP projects and useful for the institutions in charge of coastal management.

The meeting was closed by Mrs. Giarratano, who presented the conclusions and underlined the importance of the CAMP network, in the light of the capitalization of the results of the projects, especially for the tested methodologies and tools. She also reiterated the need to ratify the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol.

Since its approval by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention in 1989, the Coastal Area Management Programme of the UN environment / Mediterranean Action Plan, has been a “country driven” programme designed to respond to national, regional and local priorities. It aimed at helping the Mediterranean countries in their efforts towards sustainable development, encouraging the implementation of national strategies for integrated coastal zone management and  promoting pilot projects in coastal areas of the countries signatory to the Convention.