Ambassadors for the Coast

By this prise PAP/RAC honours, for the duration of one year, persons that inspire, through their work and engagement, the people from the Mediterranean and beyond, to better understand, protect and respect the coasts and their environment.

Mr. Didac Costa, Ambassador for the Coast 2016

A famous Catalan skipper from Barcelona, Mr. Didac Costa is a professional fireman. Working out of the Cerdanola fire station, in the suburbs of Barcelona, he explains that his job has some similarities with solo sailing: “You have to know how to work as part of a team, you don’t get much sleep...and you have to remain calm, whatever happens.”

Didac Costa began his sailing career on the family cruiser with his parents. They used to sail up and down the Spanish coast and down to the Balearics, which gave the youngster a taste of offshore voyages. During his adolescence, he developed a passion for solo sailing. He finished on the podium in several Mediterranean races before preparing for the big Atlantic crossing. This enriching experience encouraged him to go even further “on more powerful boats, which are faster and more extreme”.

Abroad these fascinating boats, Didac Costa – who says he is “patient, calm and optimistic” – has already completed one race around the world. That was in the 2014-2015 Barcelona World Race in which he raced with another racer from Barcelona. The Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing - FNOB) has committed itself to working with IOC-UNESCO to protect the environment, in particular the ocean. During the second edition of the Barcelona World Race in 2010/11, FNOB, IOC and the partnering institutions pioneered a ground-breaking partnership between sailing and ocean science, through which skippers recorded ocean temperature and salinity along its route to collaborate with oceanographers. The participating boats, in sailing through the remote southern ocean, a vastly under-sampled region that is critical for understanding climate change, used the opportunity of the race for the collection of scientific data for the first time, contributing with valuable information for developments in the fields of oceanography and meteorology. This was an unprecedented connection between the worlds of sailing and science, which has inspired the Barcelona World Race to set itself further challenges by having skippers transport and deploy multi-data collection Argo floats and other data measuring devices along the route related to weather observation salinity levels and surface seawater temperature, and to reveal skippers as frontline witnesses to the impacts of climate change on the ocean.

Thus, apart from being a very successful sailor, Mr. Costa is famous for his interest and active involvement in environmental protection. This year he was elected “Ambassador for the Coast” and will promote this activity and advocate the importance of the coasts and their protection, among others, during the Vendée Globe sailing race that he will take part in. His aim for the Vendée Globe is to achieve what he has done before sailing double-handed, but this time sailing solo. He wants to complete the round the world voyage via the three capes by himself. Good luck, Didac! Link

Prof. Anil Markandya, Ambassador for the Coast 2014

During the Mediterranean Coast Day 2014 celebrated on September 25 at Gammarth, Tunisia, Mr. Anil Markandya, Scientific Director of the Basque Institute for Climate, received from H.E. Mr. Mounir Majdoub, the Tunisian Secretary of State for Sustainable Development, and Ms. Željka Škaričić, PAP/RAC Director, the certificate of Ambassador for the Coast 2014.
Recognising his personal contribution to the understanding of the climate change and its impacts on the future of our Planet, as well as his commitment to transferring experience and knowledge, Mr. Markandya was eminently qualified to invite policy-makers of all the countries to collaborate on raising awareness on the consequences of the climate change to the coasts and on the importance of our actions in that regard.
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Mr. Jérôme Bignon, Ambassador for the Coast 2009

Mr. Jérôme Bignon, member of the French Parliament and politician active in the field of coastal management, accepted PAP/RAC invitation to be the "Ambassador for the Coast". Mr. Bignon is a Vice-President of the Commission on Sustainable Development and Planning of the National Assembly, as well as a president of the Coastal Conservatory. In addition, he is also active in his role of the president of the club of The Most Beautiful Bays in the World. By accepting this nomination, Mr. Bignon will help MAP and PAP/RAC in their endeavours to achieve sustainable development of the coast through encouraging co-operation, dialogue, tolerance and trust among all Mediterranean countries.

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HRH Princess Lalla Hasna, Ambassador for the Coast 2008

The appointment of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasna, President of the Foundation Mohammed VI for the Protection of Environment, to the position of the “Ambassador for the Coast” comes as a recognition of high-minded actions and intensive work undertaken by HRH Princess Lalla Hasna and by Morocco towards the protection of the environment and the improvement of life conditions of the populations. Thanks to the commitment of the Princess and to the activities of the Foundation Mohammed VI, seven Moroccan beaches have been awarded trophies on the occasion of the “Clean Beaches 2007” prizes awarding ceremony. In this way, numerous successful efforts the Foundation has made in the field of beach management, respect of the environment and environmental education have been recognised.


Mr. Mustafa Tolba, Ambassador for the Coast 2008

Pollution has become a serious problem, with all attendant risks to human health and the environment. Historically, international marine agreements regulated navigation and fishing; it has only recently been recognized that the world's oceans should be regulated and protected as a natural resources. This important change from a user- oriented to a resource - oriented approach has come about only since 1970... "

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Prof. Predrag Matvejevic, Ambassador for the Coast 2007

Prof. Predrag Matvejevic, Ambassador for the Coast, is the author of the famous "Mediterranean Breviary", a book of lyric essays translated into 20 languages. Prof. Matvejevic is also a member of the European Advisory Commission of "wise men" for the Mediterranean. In his book, he reveals to the reader the magical Mediterranean - the Mediterranean we want to preserve.

Read the excerpts from the "Mediterranean Breviary":

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Mr. Chérif Rahmani, Ambassador for the Coast 2007

Mr. Chérif Rahmani, the Algerian Minister of Land-use Planning, Environment and Tourism, United Nations Ambassador for 2006 - International Year of Deserts and Desertification, Champion of the Earth for 2007 and President of the Foundation 'Deserts du Monde' accepted to be the "Ambassador for the Coast" in a MAP initiative to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable coastal zone management.
By accepting this nomination, Minister Rahmani will help PAP/RAC to promote this aim given his efforts in the field of integrated coastal zone management, such as promulgation of the Algerian coastal law, creation of the national coastal commission, launching of the coastal cadastre, formulation of regional programmes for coastal valorisation and protection, delimitation, etc. Sharing his rich experience with other countries in the Mediterranean region, he will only encourage them to follow the Algerian example in the domain of ICZM.

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Mr. Renato Soru, Ambassador for the Coast 2007

Mr. Renato Soru, Ambassador for the Coast, is the President of Sardinia Region and a policy maker who enabled one of the most courageous initiatives to secure sustainable coastal development in the Mediterranean.

Read the interview with Mr. Soru...