BLUEMED – A Basin of Research and Innovation for Sustainable Growth

18 – 19 April, 2017 The Victoria Hotel, Sliema, Malta

The 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union would like you to save the date for the BLUEMED – A basin of research and innovation for sustainable growth event being held at The Victoria Hotel in Sliema, Malta on 18 and 19 April 2017. Should you be interested in attending this event, you are kindly requested to submit an e-mail to bluemed.mcst@gov.mt by 17 February 2017. Only those who register their interest via the above e-mail address will be receiving an invitation for this meeting. If you are a non-EU resident and thus may require a Schengen Visa to enter Malta, do not hesitate to contact us for further guidance. Please feel free to circulate this Save-the-Date to any other officials who may also be interested in attending the event. However, please note that participation will be limited to 150 guests. Those interested in attending are invited to reserve their accommodation at The Victoria Hotel or the Palace Hotel, Sliema, Malta where a limited number of rooms have been provisionally booked at preferential rates for three nights starting on 17 April. In order to avail yourself of this offer you are requested to book via http://victoriahotel.com/eu-presidency/ or http://thepalacemalta.com/eu-presidency/ till 3 March 2017. This offer is available on a first come, first served basis. Please note that all delegates are responsible for booking and paying for their own accommodation. It is suggested that you book your accommodation before the above indicated date, as availability thereafter cannot be guaranteed.

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Yvonne Battiau-Queney awarded chevalier of the Legion of Honour as EUCC France president

Coastal & MarinE-News

It is a pleasure for EUCC community to announce that EUCC French branch president has been recognized chevalier of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur), the highest French order for military and civil merits, as “president of a national environmental protection association”.

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Yvonne joint EUCC France since its foundation in 1994 by the eminent geographer Roland Paskoff. She became president in 2009. Since then she has been very active not only in France but also in the European context, hand-to-hand with the EUCC international secretariat and other national branches and offices. In this sense, she is at the forefront of the organization committee of the EUCC bi-annual conference Littoral in Biarritz later this year. Also in the Basque region, another milestone has been possible thanks to her dedication: the foundation of EUCC Atlantic Centre. Under her presidency, EUCC-France has celebrated its 20 years of…

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DEVOTES-EUROMARINE Summer School: 6th to 9th June 2016, San Sebastian

Coastal & MarinE-News

  • devotes_save_20161-246x300Venue: Aquarium. Donostia – San Sebastián (Spain)
  • Date: 6 – 9 June 2016
  • Organizer: AZTI, SYKE and Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • Language: English
  • Programme and registration form will be available soon.

The summer school will be held from 6th to 9th June 2016 (coinciding with the week of the Oceans’ Day on 8th June), at Aquarium of San Sebastian (Spain), European Capital of the Culture in 2016. This is the 13th AZTI’s Summer School and the 4th DEVOTES Summer School.

The topic for this summer school relates to marine ecosystem services and thelinks between their assessment, mapping and the need for a socio-ecological framework to address the important management issues related to the governance of the oceans. Governing the oceans and keeping them in a healthy state requires activities at sea to be sustainable, so that the ecosystem services provided by the oceans and the functionality of the ecosystems can be maintained.

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Outcome COP 19 Barcelona Convention: Athens declaration

thumb_news2.phpSource: UNEP/MAP

Athens declaration Mediterranean Ministers adopted the Athens Declaration, in which they pledged to implement the instruments, programmes, action plans and guidelines adopted at Barcelona Convention CoP19 -to prevent pollution from maritime transport, marine exploration, and land-based activities, protect biodiversity, manage coastal zones, and increase the resilience of the Mediterranean to the impacts of climate change- as crucial means for the achievement of the objectives of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols.

Athens Declaration

PLASTIC-BUSTERS for a Mediterranean free from litter

Source: Union for the Mediterranean

The overall goal of the project is to effectively tackle the issue of marine litter in the Mediterranean. The project directly supports the implementation of the UNEP/MAP Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, linking and contributing also to the global Honolulu Strategy framework for prevention and management of Marine Debris. The project is also in line with the recommendations of the UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change (May 2014) and the UfM Ministerial on Blue Economy (November 2015).ECNC Land and Sea Group is one of the partners of this large initiative.

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Marine litter has become a major pollution problem affecting all of the world seas. Increased levels of marine litter originate largely from land based activities (~80%). This includes, in particular, inadequate urban solid waste management (collection, transportation, treatment and final disposal) negative impacts on human health, marine wildlife, marine ecological systems, beach quality, and navigational safety as well as fishing and maritime industries.

According to the European Environmental Agency (EEA), the average amount of municipal solid waste produced in the EU is 520 kg per person/year and is projected to increase to 680 kg per person/year by 2020. While solid waste generated in non‐EU Mediterranean countries is still approximately half the per capita level in the EU, waste generation in the southern Mediterranean region has grown approximately 15 % over the last decade; mostly due to a growing population and increased consumption.

Sound, shared scientific knowledge and coordinated and multi‐sectoral actions are therefore key in combating marine litter.

With a total budget of 8,8 M Euros over a 4-year period, the project will enable to assess the amount, sources, pathways, distribution convergence areas and effects of marine litter to better mitigate and reduce the impact of marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea. The nature and effects of plastic litter on the marine food chain, fisheries and fishing activities, as well as human health are still largely unknown and are important issues investigated within this project.

A series of concrete prevention and mitigation actions and approaches (e.g. fishing for litter; removal and collection of derelict fishing gear and establishing recycling mechanisms e.g. “Healthy Seas initiative”; establish return/deposit systems for packaging, etc.) are intended to be developed, tested and promoted during the project in several pilot areas in the Mediterranean basin. Following a ‘’life cycle thinking’’ and a circular economy approach, the project will also carry out a systemic evaluations of the feasibility, reliability and sustainability while involving relevant stakeholders such as port authorities, fishermen and municipalities.

The project further foresees a wide range of actions to enhance the awareness of stakeholders and promote change in their perceptions and attitudes towards waste.

The label delivered by the UfM is the recognition of the urgency to join forces towards a shared and coordinated regional approach to provide regional actions and solutions to this common problem. As underlined by the Barcelona Convention within the Regional Plan for Marine Litter (Istanbul 2013) “Marine pollution knows no border, pollution in one country affects all the others”.

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Action for sustainable Mediterranean fisheries

Source: DG MARE

Fish stocks in the Mediterranean are in an alarming state – some are even on the verge of depletion. Over 90% of the fish stocks assessed are over-exploited, and despite recent efforts the situation is not improving. Managing fish stocks is complicated by the fact that many of them are shared with non-EU countries. How can we halt this decline and ensure a future for our fish and for the fishermen who rely on them to make a living?

Answering this question is a key priority for the Commission. At a high-level seminar in Catania, Sicily, on 9 February, Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, made an urgent appeal to policy makers and stakeholders to come together and tackle these pressing issues, together.

The EU is ready to lead the way by example, to ensure better governance for sustainable fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea. But it is clear that ensuring sustainable fisheries in the Mediterranean will require substantial efforts and the backing of all stakeholders, from both EU and non-EU countries.

That is why Catania is just the starting point for the development of a new strategy for the Mediterranean. Once EU Member States have agreed on strong alignment and committed themselves to cooperate within the EU, the intention is to bring neighbouring countries on board within the Mediterranean fisheries management organisation GFCM.

Accordingly, the critical condition of many Mediterranean fish stocks was a key topic during Commissioner Vella’s visit to the headquarters of GFCM on 18 February. Commissioner Vella used the opportunity to invite the GFCM to attend a meeting of all Mediterranean fisheries ministers in Brussels in April, and to discuss with them what specific measures could be taken to save Mediterranean stocks.

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CleanSea final newsletter, highlights on concrete steps to reduce marine litter

As FP7 CleanSea project ends, EUCC Mediterranean Centre, project partner and communication leader publishes the final newsletter.

http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c6005c19cfb13177be6488ac7&id=7e321e7916&e=9f19623cce

Highlights:
– Policy options for litter-free seas (7 language versions)
– CleanSea documentary film
– Final symposium: story, videos and pics
– Costal & Marine Special issue: magazine with project scientific results.

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We wish you a pleasant reading!