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11/19: Working together for a favorable conservation of cetaceans

Istanbul by Selda Yildiz and Erol Gülsen

The 7th Meeting of the Parties to ACCOBAMS – the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area – is being held in Istanbul from 5 to 8 November 2019.

The Meeting of the Parties to ACCOBAMS is an opportunity to review the activities carried out to implement the Agreement since the last MOP held in Monaco (2016), and to discuss the report of the Follow-up Committee as well as the institutional and budgetary arrangements.

The UN Environment-MAP is represented at this Meeting by the Deputy Coordinator, Ms Tatjana HEMA, and SPA/RAC as the Sub Coordination Unit of ACCOBAMS in the Mediterranean.

During the last 20 years, ACCOBAMS and UN Environment-MAP-SPA/RAC have been working together to achieve and maintain a favorable conservation status for cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea, including through the monitoring of cetaceans, and enhancing the effective conservation of cetacean critical habitats.

The joint efforts of ACCOBAMS and the UN Environment-MAP-SPA/RAC in the Mediterranean was marked, during the last triennium, by the implementation of the ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative (ASI) and its capacity building component on cetacean monitoring (collection, preparation and data analysis). This component has been achieved in close synergy with the EU funded EcAp-Med II Project.

In her statement, Ms HEMA expressed the UN Environment-MAP thanks to ACCOBAMS Secretariat for the great work done with regards to noise monitoring in the context of the implementation of the Integrated monitoring and assessment programme of the Barcelona Convention.

She also informed the Meeting that the “Joint Cooperation Strategy on spatial-based protection and management measures for marine biodiversity among the secretariats of ACCOBAMS, GFCM, IUCN-MED and UN ENVIRONMENT-MAP” has been amended and will be submitted for consideration by the 21st Meeting of the Barcelona Convention Contracting Parties.

The overall aim of the Joint Cooperation Strategy is to contribute to the achievement in the Mediterranean of SDG 14, in particular Targets 14.2, 14.5, 14.7 and the CBD Aichi Target 11; and that the application of the precautionary principle and of the Ecosystem Approach is strengthened in a coordinated manner and a coordinated application of spatial-based protection.

More information on ACCOBAMS and the Meeting of Parties can be found on the ACCOBAMS website: https://www.accobams.org

Statement by Ms. Tatjana Hema, Deputy Coordinator, UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat, at MOP 7 ACCOBAMS

Cover Picture of Istanbul by Selda Yildiz and Erol Gülsen