New website to showcase the results of the MedPartnership and ClimVar& ICZM projects

Source: MedPartnerhsip

The UNEP/MAP Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC) has launched its redesigned page of the GEF MedPartnership and ClimVar & ICZM projects on 6 May 2016.

Funded by the Global Environment facility (GEF), the European Union and participating countries, the two projects came to an end in December 2015 and resulted in numerous valuable outputs which prompted PAP/RAC to redesign its special projects website to better present its results in a reader-friendly way.

Under the MedPartnership, PAP/RAC worked mainly on Integrated Coastal Zone Management which resulted in the development of the National ICZM Strategy of Montenegro and its adoption by the national Government, the development of the first Coastal Plan focused on climate variability and change impacts adopted by the County Assembly.  The project has also developed a methodological guide for converging coastal, river basin and aquifer management.

The contribution of PAP/RAC to the ClimVar and ICZM project was substantial. The focus of the work was on strengthening knowledge base on regional climate variability and change, and supporting the implementation of the ICZM Protocol, and capacity building.

The outputs of each project are detailed on the new website and categorised according to the type of activity. Ten activities are also presented with experience notes using the GEF IW template.

Presented in different and national languages, the outputs included among others:

  • Four methodological guidelines (for converging coastal, river basin and aquifer management, developing national ICZM strategies, adaptation to climate variability and change, and assessing socio-economic impacts and adaptation options);
  • Three technical documents related to the interpretation of the ICZM Protocol;
  • Five different assessments of the costs of the climate variability and change impacts, including one dealing with the banks and insurance companies;
  • Three national strategies (one in the national language only, but the experience note is available);
  • Three coastal plans (one in the national language only, but the English version will be available soon, Summary version and the experience note available in English);
  • Reports of the 3 major regional workshops with all the materials distributed and PPT slides presented.

Although the GEF projects are closed, the seeds they have sawn keep flourishing around the Mediterranean.

To visit the website



Draft UNEP Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework for the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Areas

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) (  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 ( ) 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.

Addressing the impacts of Climate Variability and Change at Parliamentarian level in the Mediterranean

Source: MedPartnership

Climate variability and change would have adverse impacts in the Mediterranean.

This was the trigger for the Regional Workshop for Members of Parliaments on Climate Variability and Change in the Mediterranean Coastal Area that was held in Athens on 13 and 14 November under the umbrella of the MedPartnership project.

Organized by the GWP-MED and MIO–ECSDE, the two-day Workshop aimed to mobilize a more active engagement from the MPs and enhance their role for shaping related policies and promoting priority action at regional and national levels.

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Addressing impacts of climate change on Tunisian Kerkennah Islands

Source: MedPartnership

Following a day of consultations and discussions with the Ministry of Environment, the Coastal Protection and Planning Agency (APAL), civil society, and other institutions, the Kerkennah Islands were selected as the Tunisian demonstration site within the UNEP/MAP GEF Climate Variability project. The Islands form a unique and beautiful ecosystem, important for fisheries and tourism, and yet are regarded as highly at risk from the impacts of climate change and variability. Recent studies indicate that a 50 cm rise in sea-level would immerse 30% of the Islands. The population of the Islands is about 15,000 which increases by ten-fold in the summer due to tourism, creating great pressure on the natural resources of the Islands. The demonstration project to be implemented within the Climate Variability project will undertake an in-depth assessment of the impacts of climate variability to the marine and coastal ecosystems (including modeling of the beaches), in full participation with local and regional stakeholders with the support of Plan Bleu, and UNEP-Grid Geneva experts. The final results will provide a series of strategic actions and recommendations to complement the 2012 management plan for the Islands. In parallel, ecological and socio-economic and fisheries assessments will be undertaken, by SPA/RAC for the creation of a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the northern part of Kerkennah.

Showcasing the role of NGOs in the MedPartnership at high level International Roundtable in Rome

Source: MedPartnership

Showcasing the role of NGOs in the MedPartnership at high level International Roundtable in Rome MIO-ECSDE presented the NGO Involvement component of the MedPartnership at the International Roundtable on Transboundary Water Resources Management in the Southern Mediterranean, which took place on 26-27 November 2012. The Roundtable was co-organised by UNECE, UfM, GWP-Med, GEF-IW:LEARN, MED EUWI and hosted by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea. The high level meeting was attended by more than 60 participants.

The NGO Involvement was presented by Ms. Thomais Vlachogianni, Programme Officer, who shared MIO-ECSDE experiences and lessons-learned on NGO involvement in transboundary water resources management during a session focusing on stakeholder engagement in facilitating transboundary cooperation and ways to strengthen their capacity. After a providing a brief overview of the benefits and challenges related to NGO involvement in transboundary water resources management in the Mediterranean, Ms. Vlachogianni focused on two case studies: MIO-ECSDE’s role in the involvement of NGOs in the MedPartnership project and the Drin River Dialogue process. Both case studies illustrated the successful practices and experiences gained in the effort to create a truly enabling environment for cooperation.

Meeting stakeholders in Albania and Montenegro for the development of the Buna/Bojana Transboundary Integrated Management Plan

Source: MedPartnership

GWP-Med just completed a series of consultations in Montenegro and Albania where the perceptions of local stakeholders on the main pressures of natural resources management in the river basin and coastal area were successfully identified.  The consultations were held in the municipalities of Bar and Ulcinj in Montenegro and the communes of Ana e Malit, Berdicë, Bushat, Dajç and Velipojë in September and October 2012.

In particular, the consultations served to enhance the understanding of how and what local people perceive as issues/pressures related to the natural resources management in the river basin and coastal area, and what solutions they propose to address these. Valuable input was attained regarding the characteristics of the stakeholders, which will be used for the Stakeholders Analysis and Public Participation Plan. The final products of the work should be completed by the beginning of 2013.

The activities in Buna/Bojana also sought to understand how stakeholders perceive public participation in the framework of an integrated management plan. The consultation employed a variety of different methods of Participatory Appraisal, such as open and semi-structured interviews, focus groups, mapping and visualisation.

Enhancing understanding on coastal zone management and the ICZM Protocol

Source: MedPartnership

With an eye to achieving sustainable coastal development in their countries, more than 40 participants from 12 Mediterranean countries attended a two-day workshop on “The harmonization of the national legal and institutional framework with the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocol”. The workshop was organized within the framework of the MedPartnership in Zagreb, Croatia, on 4-5 December.

The aim of the workshop was to assist countries in understanding the legal aspects of the ICZM Protocol, as well as to build capacities for its ratification, transposition into the national laws and thereafter its implementation. Adopted in 2008 and entered into force in 2010, the ICZM Protocol is the first legal regional instrument of this kind. So far, nine Mediterranean countries ratified the Protocol. Currently, two more Regional Seas are following the Mediterranean example and drafting their own Protocols to ensure sustainable coastal development.

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