We are pleased to announce that the BWI is now an UNEP-MAP Logoaccredited partner of the United Nations Environment Programme – Mediterranean Action Plan, following the endorsement of our application at the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols (COP 22, Antalya, Turkey, 7-10 December 2021).

The UNEP/MAP is a platform for regional cooperation in protecting and enhancing the marine and coastal environment while promoting the sustainable use of the Mediterranean Sea. The UNEP/MAP works with Contracting Parties and partners to fulfil the vision of a healthy Mediterranean Sea and Coast that underpin sustainable development in the region. Under the auspices of UNEP/MAP, a framework convention dedicated to the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution was adopted in 1976 and amended two decades later to encompass the key concepts adopted at the landmark 1992 Rio Conference and to include coasts in its scope. The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) was adopted in 1995. The 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union have progressively erected a uniquely comprehensive institutional, legal, and implementing framework integrating essential building blocks for sustainability in the Mediterranean.

The BWI has worked with different sections of UNEP since hosting a workshop on MPA Governance in late 2009 in cooperation with University College London, and Dalhousie University, Canada. Aerial surveys undertaken in 2010 and 2013 provided critical information for the definition of three Adriatic Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) https://www.cbd.int/ebsa/ and was integrated into a report for the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (SPA/RAC). Also working with UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC the BWI organised the 6th Mediterranean Conference on Marine Turtles in 2018. Finally, members of the BWI were involved in the implementation of a policy known as the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp), a strategy for: “a healthy Mediterranean with marine and coastal ecosystems that are productive and biologically diverse for the benefit of present and future generations” for Montenegro and Albania.

As part of the process the BWI provided the scientific justifications of our work which was assessed by the MAP experts. Accreditation will guide the partnership between UNEP/MAP and the BWI and give greater visibility to the reciprocal commitments of both the parties. As true partners of the UNEP/MAP, the BWI will be both privileged and committed to be involved in constructive dialogue and consultations with the Contracting Parties and the various MAP components, to further the conservation of the Mediterranean Sea.