Ten years have passed since that 27th November 2003, when a committed group of EUCC International Secretariat staff, Mediterranean members and network constituted as founding assembly of EUCC Mediterranean Centre with the aim to serve EUCC mission in the Mediterranean region and focus on issues of particular importance for this area. The Centre has become a relevant player in Mediterranean coastal and marine issues and recently up taking the Mediterranean representation of the ECNC Group, one of Europe’s largest groupings of expertise and experience on nature, biodiversity, sustainability and coastal and marine issues.
Looking backwards we like to think that we have succeeded on promoting sustainable, integrated policy approaches to land, sea and coast and actively stimulating interaction, communication and bridges between science, society and policy.
Examples of our policy efforts can be our work in Morocco, where we facilitated the setting up of a Cellule du Littoral for the province of Nador and the stakeholders engagement process towards the definition and approval of ICZM plans for two key coastal areas in the province (EU SMAP III Cap Nador), or the development of a Barcelona Action Plan for air pollution mitigation related to port activities, endorsed by the Environment and Port authorities (EU MED APICE). The Med Centre has further engaged on the implementation of the MAP Protocol on ICZM and the implications of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the Med region, especially in regard to marine litter. It is in this context in which we have formalised our application to become MAP Partner.
In the field of communicating science, society and policy our main tool is our blog www.wearemediterranean.net and the quarterly News Alerts which reaches about 400 Mediterranean practitioners. Our communication responsibility and experience have brought us to lead the communication and dissemination components of key coastal and marine scientific projects under the Sixth and Seventh EU Research Framework Programme (SPICOSA, CONSCIENCE, CleanSea). The Med Centre further placed efforts on building capacity for sound coastal management especially through the further development of the of the distance training programme CoastLearn, which is running now for more than one decade.
But this anniversary is also the moment to look forward to the years to come. Our mission and work will be shaped by our role as Regional Office for the ECNC Land & Sea Group in which we join forces with EUCC Coastal & Marine Union and European Centre for Nature Conservation- ECNC. A first initiative that just starts now in Montenegro through the BojaNaTour project – Fostering and Bringing Together Nature, Tourism and Civil Society at Bojana Delta Through Integrated Coastal Zone Management. We aim to strengthen our capability to bring in the views and experiences of more members and countries to influence policy and practice in the fields of Integrated Coastal Management and Maritime Spatial planning and the EU Directive under development; the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Barcelona Convention/MAP process, the development of sustainable tourism and the greening of economies. We will keep involved not only in international developments but also strengthening our local and regional network e.g. with Catalan Government and Barcelona City Council.
Last but not least, we want to thank Mediterranean Centre funders, members, friends, staff and collaborators for making it all possible. Our special thoughts are with our first president, Prof. Roland Paskoff, which legacy will keep inspiring us.
Happy 10th Anniversary!
Jordi Serra and Carolina Pérez
Mediterranean Centre President and Director