UNDP continues to work for a healthy, clean, sustainable and climate resilient Mediterranean with biodiverse marine and coastal ecosystems
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) took its place in fighting climate change and pollution, and protecting biodiversity at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (COP22) hosted by Turkey and held in Antalya on 7-10 December.
Aiming at taking the necessary measures to protect the marine environment of the Mediterranean, ensuring and enhancing sustainable development, the parties gather every two years within the scope of the Barcelona Convention, which was accepted in 1995 to ensure cooperation between coastal countries.
Representatives, senior officials and technical teams from 21 countries that are party to the Convention and the European Union, and international non-governmental organizations attended the COP22 summit with the theme "Towards a Blue Mediterranean: Leaving a Trashless Heritage; Conserving Biodiversity, Maintaining Climate Balance”.
Diren Ertekin, Manager of the Enhancing Adaptation Action in Turkey Project at UNDP Turkey, participated in the conference and shared the impacts of climate change and adaptation studies from Turkey.
Mentioning that the Mediterranean Basin is one of the regions facing the most severe impacts of the climate change, Ertekin said, “We are leaving behind 2021, which is a turning point for climate action. This year, Mediterranean Basin, including Turkey, faced the effects of climate change through disasters such as forest fires, storms and floods. Therefore, COP22 is a great opportunity for Mediterranean countries to come together to fight climate change and set common goals. The climate change adaptation process requires international, national and especially local actors to work together.”
Within the framework of COP22 preparations, UNDP Turkey also attended the Youth Event held in November and shared information on the adaptation efforts with the youth of Mediterranean countries on the platform where views were exchanged for a healthy Mediterranean for the benefit of the present and future generations.
On the last day of COP22, “Antalya Ministerial Declaration” was published in which the entire Mediterranean was declared a Sulfur Dioxide Emission Control Area. With this decision taken, it is aimed to increase the air quality by reducing the sulfur content in the fuels used in marine transportation vehicles in the Mediterranean to one-fifth of the current legal limit until 2025. Decisions also include the use of the Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Program for the full implementation of the Medium-Term Strategy Document for the Period 2022-2027, and the preparation of regional plans to act together in marine litter management. Moreover, the declaration renewed commitments on achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, continuing efforts to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and further integrating adaptation action into local, national and regional planning.