The 2012 Mediterranean Coast Day central regional celebration was organised in Split, Croatia by PAP/RAC, as a part of the EU IPA Adriatic SHAPE project, and in collaboration with UNDP’s “Coast” project. The main event was held on September 25 but the activities were extended over the whole week. The theme of the celebration was “The Voice of the Coast”.
The main event was organised in the beautiful villa “Dalmacija”, generously offered for the occasion by the Municipality of Split. The host of the event was H.E. Mr. Mihael Zmajlović, Croatian Minister of Environmental and Nature Protection. The event was attended by high-level representatives of Croatian authorities, as well as a number of distinguished foreign guests, National Focal Points for PAP, representatives of UNEP/MAP and UNDP, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of local authorities and institutions, NGOs and the civil society.
The participants were first addressed by Ms. Anđelka Visković, Deputy Mayor of Split, who welcomed them on behalf of the Split authorities. Welcome addresses followed of Mr. Ante Sanader, Prefect, County of Split-Dalmatia, Ms. Louisa Vinton, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Croatia, Ms. Maria Luisa Silva Mejias, Executive Secretary and Coordinator of UN Environmental Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan–Barcelona Convention, and Mr. Mihael Zmajlović, Croatian Minister for Environment and Nature Protection, who officially opened the celebration.
The ICZM Protocol and its practical implementation highlights were presented by the directors, leaders and managers of the Mediterranean coastal programmes and projects. Ms. Željka Škaričić, PAP/RAC Director, introduced the ICZM Protocol and its significance and prospects. Ms. Sanja Lješković Mitrović, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, presented the ICZM and spatial planning in Montenegro. Ms. Elisa Andreoli, Consultant, IPA Adriatic SHAPE Project spoke of the relations between ICZM and Marine spatial planning. Mr. Marko Prem, PAP/RAC Deputy Director, explained the coordination mechanisms for ICZM using the example of CAMP in Spain. Ms. Monique Petard, General Counsellor of the canton of Montpellier X, Vice-president, in charge of environment, sustainable development and Agenda 21 made a presentation “ ICZM at the local level: A project case study”. Mr. Gojko Berlengi, Project Manager, UNDP COAST project, presented a project dedicated to greening rural development on the Dalmatian coast. Finally, Ms. Marina Marković, PAP/RAC Programme Officer, presented a brief history of the Mediterranean Coast Day and gave an overview of past events.
In the second, more casual part, groups of children and adolescents presented the results of the activities preceding the main event. Namely, the main focus of those activities was on the young population with the intention to raise their awareness of the values and problems of the coast. A picture book was specially prepared for the occasion by a group of enthusiasts from the island of Korčula entitled “Boats and Islands”. The author of the picture book, Ms. Sani Sardelić prepared a text inspired by the discussions on the importance of boats for the islands and the islanders’ love for boats and their living environment held in a number of workshops organised over a longer period of time for children aged 4-12. The book is illustrated with the drawings made by the children on those same occasions. The picture book is available in 3 languages: Croatian, English and French. Ms. Sardelić presented the picture book to the participants with the assistance of three little artists who took part in its creation.
The event was concluded by a multimedia presentation by NGOs “Zdravi grad” and “Mala filozofija” together with the scouts’ organisation. These three organisations had organised a number of activities throughout the month of September ranging from art exhibition on the cliffs facing the town of Šibenik, over discussions among children on the significance of the coast and natural environment, to awareness raising campaign at the Split waterfront (Riva). The “Naratoria” band composed of the members of the NGO “Zdravi grad” had a brief concert with songs specifically addressing environmental issues, including a “Love song for the coast”.
Back-to-back with the central celebration, a technical meeting was organised with the PAP National Focal Points, the day before, on September 24. The day after, on September 26, there was a joint meeting of the PEGASO, SHAPE and MAREMED projects to share results related to the implementation of the ICZM Protocol, and a workshop on the draft Outline for the National ICZM Strategies for the Adriatic countries.
On September 28, a gala concert was organised on the Riva (the Split waterfront promenade). The audience enjoyed performances by Oliver Dragojević, one of the most famous Croatian singers and UNDP’s ambassador for the coast, Valentina Fijačko, soprano, prima donna of the Split National Theatre, and three “klapa” (male vocal groups singing traditional Dalmatian songs): Klapa Cambi, Klapa Žrnovnica, Klapa Sv.Juraj HRM. Everybody in Split at time was invited to attend this concert and the attendance exceed all expectations. The Riva was full of people cheering and singing with the performers. Last but not least, the concert was attended by Mr. Ivo Josipović, President of the Republic of Croatia.