Tenth Meeting of the Focal Points of REMPEC – May 03, 2011

The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) hosted its Tenth Meeting of Focal Points, from 3 to 5 May 2011 in Malta.

The objective of the Meeting was to evaluate the implementation of the programme of work of REMPEC for the period 2010-2011, including activities carried out under the Regional Strategy for Prevention of and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships.  The Meeting also discussed and endorsed in principle the draft programme of work of the Centre for the 2012-2013 biennium, which will be submitted to the next Meeting of MAP Focal Points and eventually to the Next Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for review and adoption.

In the field of ballast water management, the Meeting endorsed a draft regional strategy on ships’ ballast water management which addresses the issue of invasive alien species, one of the major threats to marine biodiversity globally. The draft strategy contains a set of eight priorities aiming at achieving a regional harmonized approach in the Mediterranean on ships’ ballast water control and management. It will be presented to the next MAP Focal Points Meeting and recommended for adoption by the Contracting Parties Meeting.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to Dr Samih Wehbe, the REMPEC OPRC Focal Point of Lebanon, for his long and important contribution in the field of preparedness for and response to marine pollution, and wished him success on his forthcoming retirement next year. The Meeting also paid tribute to Admiral Michel Al Hashem, formerly of the Lebanese Navy and who has also recently retired, for his efforts in developing the spill preparedness and response capacities of Lebanon.

Participating in the Meeting were representatives of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, as well as representatives from relevant United Nations organizations and non-governmental organizations.

The report of the Meeting will soon be available on REMPEC website.

The documents of the Meeting can be downloaded from the information resources section of the website.