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Mediterranean celebrates Coast Day

For the 10th consecutive year, the Mediterranean celebrated Coast Day with activities coordinated by UN Environment - this year under the theme ‘A blue economy for a healthy Mediterranean’.


‘Blue Economy’ is marine-based economic development that leads to improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation can take place in the fisheries, tourism, renewable energy, marine transport, recycling, and waste reduction sectors.


The 2016 edition of Mediterranean Coast Day was held on 27 September in Barcelona and included a discussion with this year’s ambassador for the coast, Spanish skipper Didac Costa, who will take part in the Vendée Globe sailing race.


During the day, participants also debated the concept of Blue Economy in the Mediterranean and discussed good examples and best practices from leading businesses, NGOs and public agencies from all over the Mediterranean.


"Since 2007, Coast Day has been a way for the entire Mediterranean network to share ideas about the coastal zone development and protection, but also about our collaboration and friendship,” said Gaetano Leone, the UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan Coordinator, welcoming participants in a video message.


Mr Leone also encouraged countries to help ensure ratification of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol adopted in 2008, which would see countries develop policies to prevent natural hazards, apply an ecosystems-based approach to coastal planning and produce environmental impact assessments for projects, among other moves.


The second part of the day attracted more than a hundred people and featured three different corners – an action corner, with local and international NGOs, research centres and businesses; a networking corner gathering participants from blue economy sectors such as recycling and tourism, and a creative corner where participants could draw, build and take away a personalised art piece.


Mediterranean Coast Day was launched in 2007 to increase environmental awareness among policy makers, academia, media, NGOs and citizens of the importance of good coast management for achieving sustainable development in the Mediterranean region.


This year’s edition was co-organised by the Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre, Plan Bleu, and the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production. It was co-sponsored by the MAVA foundation, an environmental philanthropic organization from Switzerland, and involved the participation of eco-union, a Barcelona-based NGO active in the field of green and blue economy.


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