On 10 March 2021 the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), a UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre jointly administered with IMO, convened the Regional Meeting of National Experts on the Mediterranean Strategy for the Prevention of, and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2022-2031).
Meeting online, representatives of the Contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention pored over a second draft of the Strategy and its Action plan for the decade from 2022-2031. (both documents were tabled by REMPEC as part of its mandate under the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols). The recommendations and conclusions that they adopted will be submitted, along with the Strategy and Action plan, to the 14th Meeting of the Focal Points of REMPEC—the last step before submission for adoption to the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols (COP 22), due in December 2021, in Antalya, Turkey.
The representatives of the Contracting Parties agreed to the establishment of a working group, the principal mission of which will be to ensure complementarity with other initiatives and projects implemented in the Mediterranean region. In addition to REMPEC and the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat, the group will bring together representatives of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, IMO, the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA), and other stakeholders who will contribute to the implementation of the Strategy.
The preparation of the Strategy for the Prevention of, and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2022-2031) is funded from the Mediterranean Trust Fund (MTF) and with the support of the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Pointing to links with the main thrust of the UNEP/MAP Medium-Term Strategy (2022-2027), the UNEP/MAP Coordinator told the representatives of the Contracting Parties that their work on the Strategy and Action Plan to prevent and respond to marine pollution from ships will also feed into other crucial processes under the Barcelona Convention, including the Ecosystem Approach, the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development (MSSD), the post-2020 SAP BIO, the Mediterranean Strategy on Ships’ Ballast Water Management (BWM), and the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean.
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