Izola successfully hosted the meeting of the Barcelona Convention Bureau
The meeting of the Bureau of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean was held in Izola from 19 to 21 June.
The meeting of the Bureau of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean was held in Izola from 19 to 21 June. This meeting was of crucial importance for Slovenia, as it served to prepare the 23rd Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP23), which will be held in Slovenia in December. During COP23, Slovenia will also assume the two-year presidency of the Convention for the period 2024-2025. The Bureau members discussed in detail the preparations for COP23, focusing on the impact of climate change on the Mediterranean Sea and improving the state of biodiversity.
From the left: Ilias Mavroeidis (Programme Management Officer), Iztok Škerlič (director of JZP), Mitja Bricelj (Vice President of the Convention Bureau for the period 2022-2023), Tatjana Hema (MAP Coordinator), Uroš Brežan (Minister of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia), Dr. Mehmet Emin Birpinar (Deputy Minister of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change of the Republic of Türkiye and President of the Bureau) and delegation.
With hundreds of participants and numerous side events, the December meeting will be one of the most important foreign policy opportunities for Slovenia as a newly elected non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The Minister of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, Uroš Brežan, emphasised this in his welcoming speech: "Slovenian diplomacy has strongly emphasized environmental issues during the candidacy phase. You can count on Slovenia as a reliable partner at the global table. We will pay special attention to cross-border water cooperation, the quality of the marine environment, and the impact of climate change."
Dr. Mitja Bricelj from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, who has served as the Vice-President of the Convention's bureau for the past two years, highlighted that there will be two special events in December aimed at involving young people in the planning and implementation of sustainable development measures, including the revision of educational programs, "and the implementation of the EU's sustainable blue economy through spatial maritime planning of so-called blue corridors."
The Barcelona Convention is the only regional multilateral legal framework for the protection of the Mediterranean marine, and coastal environment. The December meeting will be held at a high level with the participation of ministerial representatives of the Contracting Parties under the theme "from decisions to actions." The Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention include Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Montenegro, Egypt, France, Greece, Croatia, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Monaco, Syria, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, and the European Union.
Iztok Škerlič, the director of the Public agency for promotion of entrepreneurship and developing projects of Municipality of Izola, pointed out that "Slovenia is establishing concrete synergies between the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), whose annual forum was held in Izola during the Slovenian presidency in 2022, and the themes of Barcelona Convention." Within the framework of EUSAIR, Slovenia has, among other things, developed a proposal for the establishment of an international marine protected area in the Adriatic Sea and has also excelled in the areas of blue and green corridors and maritime spatial planning.
Hundreds of participants are expected to attend the Convention's December meeting, and Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar will be in attendance.
Several hundred participants are expected at the December meeting of the Convention. The President of Slovenia, Nataša Pirc Musar, will also attend the meeting.