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Fish Net Fashion Turning marine waste into fashion wear. May 20, 2015

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Originally posted on Coastal & MarinE-News:

The first time we talked with people of Earthrise team and explained them what the Healthy Seas initiative is, they were overwhelmed by the amount of information, names, subjects involved and activities going on behind this project, but they loved it. It took time to discover every piece of this journey from marine waste to wear, but during the three days we spent together, they did a great job explaining in a simple and clear way what Healthy Seas does and why our activities are important for our seas.

We all hope you enjoy this reportage and will want to jump on board with us or help us in our daily diving activities starting this month!

Earthrise created also a nice infographic on Nylon regeneration. Something to share around with the video.

The video will be aired on Al Jazeera international this week (18th May) following this time schedule (GMT): Monday 22:30, Tuesday 09:30, Wednesday…

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I JORNADA DE GOVERNANÇA DEL LITORAL May 19, 2015

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El grup de treball de Medi Ambient de la Mesa Nàutica, hem preparant una jornada per a intercanviar experiències i coneixement i poder debatre plegats sobre un dels temes  més complexos quan parlem de gestió del territori, i que es precisament la gestió del litoral. Aquests gestió integrada del litoral, que  més enllà de la teoria esdevé encara un model de practica difícil.

Es per això que hem organitzat una jornada, el divendres 5 de juny de 2015, coincidint amb el dia mundial del Medi Ambient, a la sala d’actes de la Llotja de Vilanova i la Geltrú. La jornada formarà part de la fira del mar i del medi ambient BLAUVERD de Vilanova i la Geltrú del 6 i 7 de juny.

Em valorat que seria interessant fer un seminari d’un dia sencer, per tal que pel matí es puguin fer conferències científiques i tècniques sobre tots els mitjans d’investigació marina que hi ha al nostre litoral i a la tarda fer dues taules rodones per tractar temes d’infraestructures, activitat econòmica i gestió territorial i governança del litoral, convidant a diferents personalitats de referència.

Aquesta primera  jornada  que anomenem : I JORNADA DE GOVERNANÇA DEL LITORAL, i que té el sotstítol o lema de El Litoral del Garraf: veure, pensar, actuar.

La jornada de conferències és gratuïta i oberta a tothom.

Veure el programa

Mediterranean region exposed to resource depletion and price volatility May 18, 2015

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Source: MIO ECSDE

The Mediterranean region currently uses approximately 2.5 times more natural resources and ecological services than its ecosystems can provide. Consequently, the region depends heavily on imports and is vulnerable to volatility in the international price levels of natural resources such as agricultural commodities, minerals and fossil fuels.

These are among the findings of a new article published April 25 in the journal Environmental Science & Policy (Elsevier). The paper was co-authored by three researchers from the international think tank Global Footprint Network (MIO-ECSDE’s Member) and titled “Physical limits to resource access and utilization and their economic implications in Mediterranean economies.” The article is available for free download at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901115000696.

The authors find that a 10% increase in the price of natural resources would result in a worsening of countries’ trade balances equivalent to as much as 2.4% of the GDP, as in the case of Jordan. Italy, France and Greece, moreover, would see their resource import bills increase by approximately US$ 9.2 billion (equivalent to 0.5% of its GDP), US$ 8.4 billion (0.3% of its GDP) and US$ 1 billion (0.4% of its GDP), respectively . Only two countries would see an improvement in their trade balance – Algeria and Libya – due to more revenues from oil exports.

In the last 50 years the Mediterranean region’s population doubled and its per-person consumption levels increased 54 percent since 1961, according to the article. Half of the region’s natural resources are imported, mainly from the USA, China, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Growth in population and consumption levels worldwide has led to more competition for resources at a time when the economies of many Mediterranean countries have suffered from economic downturns. The result, conclude the authors, is that the Mediterranean countries have less financial means to buy resources from outside their borders.

“Overall, it appears that the changing global context of resource availability is making the long-held pattern of resource consumption in the Mediterranean untenable“ the authors conclude.

FIGURE: Sensitivity to natural resource price changes (SPC) for Mediterranean countries.

Regional dialogue and cooperation on climate change: towards a new global agreement at COP 21 in Paris May 18, 2015

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Source: UfM

Barcelona, 7 May 2015 –Within the framework of the Mediterranean Climate Week organised by Morocco, a UfM Informal High-Level Conference on Climate Change took place today in Shikrat (Morocco) with the aim to contribute to regional and national efforts to prepare climate change goals in the Mediterranean, paving the way for a global agreement at the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris by the end of this year.

Organised by Morocco, as host country, and chaired by the UfM Co-Presidency, EU and Jordan, the conference was opened by H.E. Hakima El Haite, Minister for Environment of Morocco, H.E. Mr. M. Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner in charge of Climate Action and Energy, H.E. Raouf Dabbas, Principal Advisor to the Minister for Environment of Jordan and H.E. Fathallah Sijilmassi, UfM Secretary General.

“The Union for the Mediterranean is mobilising the necessary mechanisms to help UfM Member States to prepare their contributions to the UNFCCC process and assist them in their implementation. The Secretariat of the UfM, thanks to its Group of Experts on Climate Change, is the platform of reference to gather the different initiatives and institutions currently working on climate change related issues”, said Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi.

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Naomi Klein: This Changes Everything – video May 18, 2015

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Source: The Guardian

Naomi Klein didn’t think climate change was her issue but when she realised the close link between environmental destruction and inequality, everything changed. In Naomi’s home country, the Canadian government granted virtual free rein to companies seeking oil in Alberta’s tar sands, creating a boom town in Fort McMurray. Like large numbers of activists across the world, the indigenous population in Alberta protested the environmental damage. How can we connect the dots among movements around the world to tackle climate change and inequality at the same time?

This is an edited excerpt from a work-in-progress. The feature length documentary This Changes Everything, directed by Avi Lewis, will be completed and launched later this year

Innovative business models for marine litter in Europe – Join us at the Healthy Seas workshop on European Maritime Day 2015 May 11, 2015

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Originally posted on Coastal & MarinE-News:

Tilburg, 11 May 2015

Marine litter, in particular derelict fishing gear, is a growing environmental threat, posing risks to wildlife and humans and impacting crucial economic sectors, such as fisheries and the maritime sector. This year, the European Maritime Day will focus on the role of ports and coasts as gateways to maritime growth, addressing job creation, sustainability and competitiveness. Healthy Seas is there, organizing a workshop on innovative business models for marine litter in Europe.

European Maritime Day 2015

The European Maritime Day 2015 will take place in Piraeus, Greece, from 28 to 31 May 2015. The platform welcomes Europe’s growing maritime community joining policy makers to discuss, debate and exchange best practices. The seas and oceans, and the opportunities they offer, are at the heart of the discussions.

Marine litter is a symbol of a resource-inefficient society

Healthy Seas together with its partners, MIO-ECSDE and MEDASSET, organizes a…

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24 Mediterranean region mayors sign Covenant of Mayors on climate change May 11, 2015

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Source: ENPI
Twenty-four mayors and representatives of local authorities from five countries in the southern Mediterranean region yesterday signed the Covenant of Mayors, committing to help reduce carbon emissions.
The mayors and representatives – from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel – took part in a signing ceremony organised by the European Union and the EU project Cleaner Energy Saving Mediterranean Cities (CES-MED) held in Skhirat, Morocco on 6 May.
The Covenant of Mayors is a global movement that started in the EU. It involves local and regional authorities voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By committing, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the EU’s 20% carbon reduction target by 2020. Currently, some 6,300 cities and towns in 54 countries have signed. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
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Press release
Covenant of Mayors
Cleaner Energy Saving Mediterranean Cities
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre press pack – Euro-Mediterranean Energy Cooperation: Working together for secure and sustainable energy
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage – energy

EU and Mediterranean partners step up energy relations May 7, 2015

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European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Moroccan Energy Minister Abdelkader Amara today unveiled three new Euro-Mediterranean platforms on gas, the regional electricity market, and renewables and energy efficiency.
On gas, the platform will discuss how to develop production in North Africa and eastern Mediterranean countries for domestic markets and for export to the EU. It will also debate regulatory, financing and infrastructure issues.
The regional electricity market platform will centre on gradually removing technical, regulatory, and infrastructure barriers to free trade of electricity across borders.
On renewable energy and energy efficiency, the platform will analyse regulatory frameworks and markets to encourage investments. It will exchange best practices in areas including measuring energy efficiency, national energy efficiency plans, energy codes for buildings and minimum energy performance standards for appliances. (EU Neighbourhood Info)
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Press release
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre press pack – Euro-Mediterranean Energy Cooperation: Working together for secure and sustainable energy
EU Neighbourhood Info Centre webpage – energy

Draft UNEP Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Areas May 7, 2015

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By Magdalena AK Muir, Advisory Board Member, Climate, EUCC
The UNEP  Draft Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Areas is currently being finalized for the Mediterranean region. May 1st was the deadline for comments on the most recent version. The EUCC Mediterranean Center, a UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan partner, and also active in the civil society organization for the region, the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ESCDE) (http://mio-ecsde.org/).  Magdalena Muir is sitting on the Climate Change Working Group of MIO-ESCDE. 

The Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Areas (or Framework) focuses on the use of Integrated Coastal Zone Management as a climate adaptation measure. The Framework was prepared by UNEP/MAP in the context of the GEF-funded “Integration of climatic variability and change into national strategies to implement the ICZM Protocol in the Mediterranean” project (ClimVar & ICZM Project). This Project is executed in 11 Mediterranean countries to promote the use of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) as an effective tool to deal with the impacts of climate variability and change in coastal zones. 
The aspirations of the  Framework are to provide a regional approach in coordinating and assisting policy makers and stakeholders at all levels across the Mediterranean to:

– promote the right enabling environment for mainstreaming adaptation in national and local planning;
– promote and exchange best practices and low-regret measures;
– promote leveraging of necessary funding; and
– exchange and access best available data, knowledge, assessments and tools on adaptation, in order to increase the resilience of the Mediterranean marine and coastal natural and socioeconomic systems to the impacts of climate change.
The Framework also contains a succinct summary of European Union approaches to adaptation, which arguably also provides a viable approach and model for adaptation throughout the Mediterranean region:


“25. The European Commission adopted in April 2013 the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change which identifies three priority areas: 1. Promoting action by Member States, through encouraging the adoption of comprehensive adaptation strategies and providing funding to help them build up their adaptation capacities. 2. ‘Climate-proofing’ action by further promoting adaptation in key vulnerable sectors and ensuring that Europe’s infrastructure is made more resilient, and 3. Better informed decision-making by addressing gaps in knowledge about adaptation. The Commission states that priority will be given to adaptation flagship projects that address key cross-sectoral, trans-regional and/or cross-border issues.In order to support the 

development and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies and actions in Europe,

the European Climate Adaptation Platform Climate-ADAPT ( http://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu ) has been launched since 2013.”

The Framework has been shared for inputs and comments, including national MAP Focal Points and MAP partners (such as EUCC Mediterranean Centre) and the Focal Points of the MedPartnership and ClimVar & ICZM projects. On the basis of that feedback, a revised draft is being prepared and submitted for its review, in order for it to be completed and finally submitted to the MAP Focal Points Meeting in October 2015 and then adopted by the 19th meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP 19) to be held in Athens in February 2016. The final version of the draft Framework will be accompanied by a detailed background report providing an overview of the issues, the challenges and the current status regarding the adaptation to climate change of the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Areas

EUCC and EUCC Mediterranean Centre provided limited comments  on the Framework on May 1st: 
 
First, we noted that the European directive in Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) – (Directive 2014/89/EU), establishes a framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management. Maritime spatial planning will contribute to the effective management of marine activities and the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources, by creating a framework for consistent, transparent, sustainable and evidence-based decision-making. Inorder to achieve its objectives, this directive  lays down obligations to establish a maritime planning process, resulting in maritime spatial plan or plans; such planning process should take into account landsea interactions, including climate change effects, and promote cooperation among Member States. Therefore we think it is important to consider this new EU Directive in the section 4.1 of the Framework. Indeed, in the near future this directive may serve to conduct actions in terms of land-sea interaction considering the needs for climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as coastal resilience. We also noted EUCC and the EUCC Mediterranean Centre is already involved in the process of implementing MSP in the EU, and is available for collaborations.
EUCC and the EUCC Mediterranean Centre have aso been active participants, along with other members of civil society, in the
development of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations Open Working Group, and in particular Oceans Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.  Therefore, we noted that the SDG Oceans Goal 14 was supported by the European Union and many Mediterranean countries within the Open Working Group process, and is likely to be ratified by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Given the synergies and overlaps between the UN SDGs (and particularly the Oceans Goal with its reference to the full implementation of regional regimes for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources) and the Draft Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Areas, we suggested that the Framework for the Mediterranean be amended to consider and incorporate the UN SDGs and the post-2015 development agenda.

MEDCOAST 15, 06-10 Oct 2015, Golden Sands, Varna, Bulgaria May 5, 2015

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The twelfth bi-annual MEDCOAST conference in Varna marks the 25th year since the birth of the MEDCOAST ideal.  Many devoted colleagues and friends have eagerly provided their valuable time and energy for years towards protection and better management of  coastal and marine areas in general and those of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in particular.  Since the first conference in 1993 (Antalya, Turkey),  the MEDCOAST conference series on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment has moved around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, visiting Taragona (Spain), Qawra (Malta), Antalya (Turkey), Ravenna (Italy), Kusadasi (Turkey), Alexandria (Egypt), Sochi (Russia), Rhodes (Greece), Marmaris (Turkey) and with this event Varna (Bulgaria).  The conference has been organized in every odd numbered year, regularly in the months of either October or November.

The twelfth conference in Varna will be the second event to be organised on the shores of the Black Sea.  This happens to be at a time when the European Union is keenly interested in facilitating programs for the Black Sea in the fields of Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).  Therefore, the Varna conference will provide an excellent opportunity for discussing national and regional efforts and capabilities that already exist in these and related fields as well as the future needs and directions.  The meeting will also be a good occasion for networking and collaboration initiatives for the Black Sea.

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