Highlights and images for 3 December 2019


Delegates enter the Castel Dell'Ovo conference area, greeted by a mural of the old city of Naples.

The 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (the Barcelona Convention) and its Protocols (COP 21) convened for its second day on Tuesday, 3 December 2019, in Naples, Italy.

Delegates faced a full agenda as decisions needed to be finalized before the Ministerial Session, which takes place on Wednesday. The morning session saw discussions continue on thematic decisions, including:

  • Assessment Studies
  • Common Regional Framework for Integrated Coastal Zone Management
  • Identification and Conservation of Sites of Particular Ecological Interest in the Mediterranean, including Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance
  • Strategies and Action Plans under the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean
  • Main Elements of the Six Regional Plans to Reduce/Prevent Marine Pollution from Land-Based Sources; Updating the Annexes to the LBS and Dumping Protocols of the Barcelona Convention
  • Updated Guidelines Regulating the Placement of Artificial Reefs at Sea
  • Development of a Set of Regional Measures to Support the Development of Green and Circular Businesses and to Strengthen the Demand for more Sustainable Products

The afternoon discussions addressed the draft decisions on the budget, compliance and governance. It also saw delegates begin their discussion on the contentious issue of a Road Map for the Possible Designation of the Mediterranean Sea Area as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides (SECA) Pursuant to MARPOL Annex VI, within the Framework of the Barcelona Convention.

Delegates worked into the evening to conclude their work in a largely cordial atmosphere, and despite many diverging views on how to proceed and concerns regarding “wordsmithing” the decision, they were able to heed the calls for an outcome on this important topic at the COP and approve the draft decision on a road map towards a possible SECA in the Mediterranean.

L-R: Elli Sfyroeras, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat; Ilias Mavroeidis, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention; Gabino Gonzalez Deogracia, Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC); Gaetano Leone, Coordinator, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat; and Maria Carmela Giarratano, COP 21 President, Italy

Gaetano Leone, Coordinator, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat

Maria Carmela Giarratano, COP 21 President, Italy

COP 21 participants

Moustafa Fouda, Egypt

Ayelet Rosen, Israel

Victor Escobar, EU

Florence Descroix-Comanducci, Executive Secretary, Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS)

Samira Hamidi, Algeria

Marylene Beau, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Secretariat

Mohamad Kayyal, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat

Doumi El Hassane, Morocco

Tatjana Hema, Deputy Coordinator, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat

Anna Gerometta, Cittadini per l'Aria

Mohamed Jeddou, Tunisia

Rosa Antidormi, EU

Giuseppe Di Carlo, WWF

L-R: Jihed Ghannem and Lorenzo Galbiati, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat, in a conversation with Gaetano Leone, Coordinator, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat

L-R: Tidiani Couma, Monaco, in a discussion with Gabino Gonzalez Deogracia, REMPEC

L-R: Irene Cavoura-Vasileiadi; Ilias Mavroeidis; Giorgos Petridis; and Lorenzo Galbiati, UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention Secretariat

Side Event Photos: “MPAs and Biodiversity for a sustainable Mediterranean: Mechanisms for proper marine biodiversity protection in the Mediterranean”


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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For Barcelona Convention COP 21, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon.


Negotiating blocs
European Union