The Mediterranean Strategy addressing pollution from ships signals progress towards a sustainable blue economy – May 20, 2022

REMPEC, administered by IMO, was part of the UNEP/MAP delegation that took part in the One Ocean Summit (9-11 February 2022, Brest, France), a gathering of Heads of State and Government, senior representatives of multilateral institutions, business and civil society leaders that France convened to push for bolder commitments to a cleaner and healthier ocean.

Speaking during the Session on the “Mediterranean Sea in 2030”, REMPEC Director Gabino Gonzalez introduced the Mediterranean Strategy for the Prevention of, preparedness, and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2022-2031), which was adopted at the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols (COP 22, 7-10 December 2021, Antalya, Turkey). He pointed to the importance of the strategy as part of a set of commitments by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to take individual and collective effective measures to address a range of environmental challenges, including pollution, climate change, emissions of harmful gases, marine litter (notably plastics),  and the introduction of non-indigenous species.

“The strategy is not only a response to these environmental challenges, but also a driver of green maritime transport that undergirds a wider sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean,” Mr. Gonzalez stated, adding that “this is part of a broader endeavour undertaken by UNEP/MAP, IMO and the Contracting Parties to address the triple crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss in the Mediterranean, while accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

A comprehensive action plan translating the strategy into 190 specific actions will be implemented in the course of the next ten years, with the collaborative, coordinated and collective support from relevant regional stakeholders in the Mediterranean. This will coincide with a swifter global momentum marked by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

Contracting Parties and relevant regional stakeholders will be invited, in the coming months, to contribute to the preparation of the first meeting on the implementation of the Strategy, by sharing information on ongoing and future actions and projects relevant to the Strategy and its action plan. The objective of this meeting, to be held in November 2022, is to build sustainable partnerships and channel international cooperation and maximize synergies.

Governments, regional and international organizations, NGOs, research institutions and the industry are invited to join this collaborative effort to leverage the financial resources and technical support required for the full implementation of the Strategy and its action plan.