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.