The 23rd meeting of the Contracting Parties of Barcelona Convention, COP 23, convened in Portorož, Slovenia, from 5 to 8 December 2023, held under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Under the theme “Green transition in the Mediterranean: from decisions to actions”, it gathered representatives from 21 Mediterranean countries to address pressing environmental issues, along with stakeholders, policymakers, and experts from across the region, including the MedECC. Among them was Piero Lionello (University of Salento, Italy), a MedECC author and Steering Committee member, alongside the MedECC Secretariat, Julie Gattacceca, and Kasia Marini. COP 23 culminated in the adoption of the Portoroz Ministerial Declaration, including support for MedECC to ensure evidence-based environmental policies in the Mediterranean. The decisions and support expressed at this COP have strengthened the MEdECC’s position, legitimacy and needs as a unique science-policy interface and driving force in addressing climate challenges in the region.
Recognition and endorsement
During COP 23, the Contracting Parties expressed their appreciation for the work carried out by MedECC. They specifically approved the Decision on the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the MedECC Special Report on Climate and Environmental Coastal Risks, which included its endorsement. The decision also request the UNEP/MAP Secretariat to further mainstream results stemming from MedECC into relevant UNEP/MAP work. The Contracting Parties and the Secretariat are urged to make all possible efforts to overcome the knowledge gaps that are identified in the Special Report, invited to properly disseminate the results through an extensive dissemination and communication campaign in all relevant national and international fora beyond Barcelona Convention.
Renewed commitment and programme adoption
The Contracting Parties have renewed their commitment to support MedECC activities. The 23rd Meeting saw the adoption of the Programme of Work (PoW) and Budget of the Compliance Committee for the Biennium 2024-2025. The PoW specifically supports the operation and activities of the scientific network MedECC and developing science-based assessments and policy recommendations on thematic impacts of climate and environmental change in support of informed decision-making.
Additionally, the renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNEP/MAP and the Union for the Mediterranean underscored collective dedication to bolstering environmental resilience in the region.
The Ministerial Session of COP 23, held on December 7, 2023, focused on the theme ‘Green transition in the Mediterranean: from decisions to actions.’ The session featured statements by the heads of delegations of the Contracting Parties and Observer organizations and culminated in the adoption of the Portoroz Ministerial Declaration, which emphasizes support for MedECC to ensure evidence-based environmental policies in the Mediterranean.
MedECC in the Spotlight:
MedECC’s prominence was further illuminated through Piero Lionello’s interview in the video “COP 23 | Science-based environmental policymaking” by IISD/ENB. . 🔗 Video Link: COP 23 | Science-based environmental policymaking
📰 Additionally, UNEP/MAP’s press release highlighted MedECC’s substantial contributions to the event. For more updates and media coverage, visit the MedECC Media Page.