2014 Mediterranean Coast Day Celebration

It has become tradition in the Mediterranean to celebrate the Coast Day after it had first been organised in 2007. Its main purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of the coast as both natural and economic resource, as well as to warn of the risks it is exposed to due to natural phenomena and human actions. ICZM is extensively promoted as the optimal policy framework for achieving sustainable development of coastal areas. Thus, September 25 was chosen as the Mediterranean Coast Day to honour the date when Slovenia ratified the ICZM Protocol as the first Mediterranean country to do so. The 2011 Mediterranean celebration, hosted by Algeria, was organised around the ICZM Protocol entering into force. This unique and highly important document is a result of great efforts made by the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) and its Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC), and represents the crowning glory of many years of dedicated work in the field of environmental protection in the Mediterranean within the Barcelona Convention. Each year the central Mediterranean celebration is organised in a different country, while other countries organise their own events. Thus, in 2007 and 2008 the central celebration was organised in Sardinia, Italy. In 2009 the host to the central celebration was Turkey, in 2010 Slovenia, in 2011 Algeria, in 2012 Croatia and in 2013 Italy.

You can read more about the central celebrations in the “News” section, as well as about the national events. Much attention is paid to attracting attention of as wide an audience as possible, ranging from decision-makers, over coastal practitioners, scientific community and private sector to children and adolescents. A number of various promotional material has been prepared and widely distributed including brochures, leaflets, CDs and video materials. Good media coverage was also secured. This year, the regional Mediterranean celebration will take place in Tunisia, on the coast of the gulf of Tunis, hosted by the Tunisian Ministry of Equipment, Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development. PAP/RAC will coordinate the organisation of the event working in close cooperation with APAL (Agence de Protection et d’Aménagament du Littoral – Coastal Protection and Planning Agency), at the head of a multiparty Organising Committee consisting of APAL personnel and representatives of various national environmental bodies and international institutions. Climate variability and change and integrated coastal zone management will be the central topics of this year’s celebration.

A conference will be held in the morning with high-level representatives of the Tunisian Government, international organisations, international experts and the civil society, to share regional experiences on matters related to the selected topics, where the host of the event will be H.E. Mr. Mounir Majdoub, Tunisian Secretary of State for Sustainable Development. In the afternoon, a public event will be organised with local NGOs, associations and schools, in the form of a forum, where people will be allowed to share their experiences, meet people and hear various experts, in a more relaxed atmosphere, and discuss themes related to adaptation to climate change with a motto: It’s a good climate for change!

Apart from the central regional celebration, each country is invited to organise national and/or local events. So far we have been informed that celebrations will be organised in Croatia (Šibenik, September 19) and Israel (although at a later date as on September 25 they celebrate Rosh Hashana).