Convention de Barcelone - COP21 (Naples, 2-5 décembre 2019) (seulement en anglais) – 02/12/2019

The 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) and its Protocols will take place on 2-5 December 2019 in Castel dell’Ovo, a seaside historical castle located on the Gulf of Naples.

Preparatory process

Focal Points Meeting (Athens, Greece, 10-13 September 2019)

Focal Points of the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) met in Athens on 10-13 September 2019 to examine the progress on activities carried out during the 2018-2019 biennium, several strategic and thematic draft decisions to be submitted for adoption to COP 21, including the Programme of Work for the next two years (2020-2021), as well as to decide on the Provisional Agenda of COP 21 and its main theme. Read more

 “Towards COP21” -- Youth Meeting” (Naples, Italy, 23 October 2019)

UNEP/MAP and the Government of Italy, as Host Country of COP21, are strongly committed to ensuring that the voice of Mediterranean youth be heard. A meeting with representatives of youth aged between 18-25, nominated by the Contracting Parties, will take place on 23 October in Naples, Italy. Prior to the meeting organized by the Government of Italy, the nominated young representatives will participate in an e-learning activity on [], on the mandate, objectives and work of the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention system.

Two representatives will convey the message of the Mediterranean Youth to the High-Level Segment of COP 21 on 4 December 2019, in Naples.

Regional Stakeholders Consultation (Athens, Greece, 24-25 October 2019)

The meeting, that will take place in Athens, Greece, on 24-25 October, will serve as an opportunity for the MAP stakeholders to reflect on the main theme of COP 21 and to provide their contribution to the discussions on the Ministerial Declaration. The outcome of the meeting will be reported to the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention at COP 21 for consideration in the Naples Ministerial Declaration and in the preparation of the new UNEP/MAP Medium-Term Strategy 2022-2027.

COP 21 Programme

Ministerial Segment

Ministers representing the 22 Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, the Executive Director of UNEP, Ms. Inger Andersen, representatives of stakeholders and distinguished guests will attend the Ministerial Segment on 4 December 2019.

A High-Level Panel discussion will take place at the opening of the Ministerial Segment.

The High-Level Segment will notably endorse the Naples Ministerial Declaration.

 Interactive Ministerial Policy Review Session

The session will serve to provide strategic guidance for the preparation of the next UNEP/MAP Medium-Term Strategy, considering the global context. The global framework encompasses the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process and the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification Strategic Framework 2018-2030 aimed to the Land Degradation Neutrality, relevant UNEA resolutions and other relevant global processes. The discussions are expected to focus on issues such as Marine Litter, Marine Protected Areas and Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Blue Economy (with a focus on Integrated Coastal Zone Management/Marine Spatial Planning and Sustainable Tourism).


COP 21 will consider for adoption a number of draft decisions related to governance of the UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention system as well as to thematic issues. Furthermore, Cop 21 will discuss and eventually adopt the UNEP/MAP Programme of Work and Budget for 2020-2021.

Governance-related themes include, inter alia, the evaluation of the current UNEP/MAP Mid-Term Strategy and the preparation of the new one for 2022-2027, the Operational Communication Strategy, the roadmap for the preparation of a Data Management Policy, issues of cooperation and partnerships, as well as the work of the Compliance Committee – the body established in 2008 to advise and assist the Contracting Parties in meeting their obligations under the Convention and its Protocols and, to facilitate, promote, monitor and ensure such compliance.

Other draft decisions related to governance focus on the mid-term evaluation of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (2016–2025) and of the regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Mediterranean; as well as on environmental assessments in the Mediterranean, including the 2019 State of the Environment and Development Report and a preliminary assessment of risks associated to climate and environmental changes in the Mediterranean Region.

A number of important draft decisions pertain also to operational themes related to the protection of the marine environment and the coastal region of the Mediterranean: 

  • a roadmap for a possible designation of the Mediterranean Sea area as an emission control area for Sulphur oxides;
  • six regional plans to reduce or prevent marine pollution from land-based sources;
  • new standards and guidelines to curb pollution under three Protocols of the Barcelona Convention addressing dumping, offshore and land-based sources;
  • guidelines on Adopt-a-Beach activities aimed at curbing marine litter and on phasing out single-use plastic bags;
  • common standards and guidelines related to offshore activities;
  • a common regional framework for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in line with the ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention;
  • identification and conservation of Sites of Particular Ecological Interest in the Mediterranean, including Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance;
  • the Strategic Action Programme for the conservation of Biological Diversity (SAP BIO) in the Mediterranean Region; the strategy on Monk Seal; Action Plans concerning Marine Turtles, Cartilaginous Fishes and Marine Vegetation; and the Classification of Benthic Marine Habitat Types for the Mediterranean Region and Reference List of Marine and Coastal Habitat Types in the Mediterranean;
  • updated guidelines regulating the placement of artificial reefs at sea;
  • a set of regional measures aimed at supporting the development of green and circular businesses and stimulating demand for sustainable products.


Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award 2018-2019

The winner of the 2019 edition of the “Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award” will be announced during a ceremony that will take place at the High-Level Segment of COP 21, on 4 December 2019.

The Contracting Parties established the Award to recognize and reward the efforts of local authorities to improve the environment and the quality of life, and to promote sustainable development in Mediterranean coastal towns and cities.


Media participation in COP21 is subject to accreditation by the UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat. Accreditation is strictly reserved for members of the press - print media, photo, radio, TV, film and news agencies - who fully meet UN media accreditation requirements.

1. Accreditation

Accreditation will be granted upon presentation of valid press credentials, including:

  1. a completed accreditation form;
  2. a letter of assignment on official letterhead of a media organization signed by the Publisher/Assignment Editor, Editor-in-chief or Bureau Chief, specifying the name and functional title of the journalist. Unsigned letters or e-mails will not be accepted;
  3. a photocopy of a valid press card/work pass;
  4. a photocopy of passport. 

Press passes can be picked up at the registration counter at the COP21 venue upon presentation of ID (passport, official national press pass, driver’s license, work ID, etc.).

Please note that journalists accredited to cover the meetings should make their own travel and hotel bookings.

Accreditation requests (accreditation form and required documents) should be sent by email to, copying, no later than 25 November 2019.

2. Financial support (Application Deadline: 25 October 2019)

Financial support may be provided for up to 10 professional journalists from Mediterranean countries. Applications for financial support will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis and in light of the following selection criteria:

 Track record of coverage of environmental affairs in the Mediterranean region;

  • Media outlets in which the applicant intends to publish articles and other types of content produced at COP21;
  • Gender balance – applications from female journalists are strongly encouraged.

The need for financial support must be indicated in the “financial support section” of the accreditation form. Applicants are requested to specify the media outlets that will publish articles and other types of content produced at COP21.

Applicants for financial support are required to submit their accreditation requests (as indicated above) no later than 25 October 2019.

Important notice

  • Selected journalists will be issued with an invitation letter from the UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat to facilitate Visa applications, where applicable.
  • Travel will be arranged by the UNEP/MAP —Barcelona Convention Secretariat.
  • Selected journalists will be responsible for booking their own accommodation in Naples.

 Source of the News: UNEP MAP