On September 25, the city of Split, or more precisely the Museum of Fine Arts, hosted the central regional celebration of the Mediterranean Coast Day 2018 which was attended by 100-odd participants. This celebration was a part of the CO-EVOLVE Interreg Mediterranean project dedicated to ICZM and coastal and maritime tourism development in synergy with other human activities and natural systems. Within the WP2 on Communication this was a Local/National “information day” with the aim to promote integrated coastal zone management and marine spatial planning, and in particular the aims, objectives and activities of the project at the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan scale. On the other side it was an event for the general public, and children in particular, to raise awareness of the importance of coastal zones, various pressures and trends related to the development and the need to protect coastal and marine environment. To this end a number of activities that involved different partners related to these objectives were organised from 15 to 27 September with the main event on 25 September. More details are presented in the following chapters of the report.
Since this year PAP/RAC celebrates its 40th anniversary, a particular attention was given to ICZM, its legal instrument, i.e. the ICZM Protocol, and activities and challenges related to coastal zones. Although the leitmotif was the need to join forces in order to achieve sustainable development, which has been recognised as the best way to preserve our coasts that are beautiful and valuable but also fragile and threatened for the generations to come. And it is only logical that it was so because the main objective of the Coast Day campaign is raising awareness of those issues.
The celebration had two main parts, the morning conference and the afternoon celebration dedicated to general public.
The participants in the morning conference were greeted by Mr. Mario Šiljeg, State Secretary with the Croatian Ministry of Environment and Energy. He pointed out that climate change poses serious threat for the Mediterranean region. It is also exposed to ever growing pressures, overbuilding, changes in eco-systems and demand for water resources. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to implement the requirements resulting from the ICZM Protocol. Stressing the importance of all actors involved in coastal protection, he praised the dedication and contribution of PAP/RAC. Mr. Šiljeg highlighted the importance of a systematic and targeted education at all levels as an important measure of joint efforts towards achieving sustainable development, and stressed the role of the local and regional authorities.
Mr. Nino Vela, Deputy Mayor of Split, welcomed the participants on behalf of Split, the city hosting this year’s celebration as well as the Centre for the past 40 years. He stressed the need to appreciate and take care of our sea for both its beauty and biodiversity on one hand, and its economic potential on the other. It is an absolute necessity to harmonise the need to preserve our coasts and economic growth by way of sustainable development. He thanked all the experts contributing to the common goal and obligation to preserve this enormous asset for the future generations. Finally, he wished the participants a pleasant stay in Split.
Ms. Monika MacDevette, Director a.i. of the Ecosystems Division, UN Environment, in her brief address mentioned the Barcelona Convention as an important factor and pointed out that Croatia has been a respectable partner. She also stressed the dedication and engagement of PAP/RAC in the joint activities. As the main problem of contemporary life in the Mediterranean she mentioned huge quantities of plastic waste. A problem shared with other seas and oceans.
Mr. Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of UN Environment/MAP – Barcelona Convention Secretariat, agreed that the Mediterranean is one of the most beautiful seas in the world, and the most valuable asset of the countries surrounding it, from both environmental and economic points of view. Unfortunately, it is seriously threatened and has faced great environmental problems, especially over the past several decades. MAP, with its centres, has invested great efforts to find solutions for the most pressing issues, and the results can be seen. He pointed out the role of PAP/RAC and praised the good work it has been doing for the past 40 years. As a major milestone, reached recently, in 2011, he mentioned the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocol which entered into force in the framework of the Barcelona Convention. Through this legally binding instrument, Mediterranean countries committed themselves to ensure the sustainable management and use of coastal zones. To date, 10 Mediterranean countries and the EU have ratified the ICZM Protocol. Finally, Mr. Leone stressed the need for the countries to collaborate in activities aimed at sustainable development.
Ms. Željka Škaričić, PAP/RAC Director, welcomed the participants and thanked them for joining PAP/RAC in this big celebration, as well as for years of support and cooperation. She raised hope that, owing to the presence of the representatives of other Regional Seas, the Coast Day could become global and not just Mediterranean. Ms. Škaričić particularly pointed out that without projects financed by GEF of the EU, such as the current Interreg CO-EVOLVE, it would be very difficult achieving progress in the implementation of the ICZM Protocol.
The first panel, moderated by Ms Škaričić, included Prof. Ivo Šimunović, former President of the City Council of Split, Prof. Jure Margeta of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, Mr. Ivica Trumbić former PAP/RAC Director, Mr. Marko Prem, Deputy Director of PAP/RAC, and Mr. Gaetano Leone. The speakers illustrated the development of PAP/RAC from its humble beginnings to a respectable organisation that it is today. They spoke of the challenges encountered and the successes achieved. Over the past 40 years, PAP/RAC, “the Mediterranean Coastal Management Centre”, has been instrumental to protect the Mediterranean coast. They also mentioned the ICZM Protocol as a major milestone. Through this legally binding instrument, Mediterranean countries committed themselves to ensure the sustainable management and use of coastal zones. This includes, among others, the establishment of a 100 meters setback zone in the Mediterranean coastal areas. To date, 10 Mediterranean countries and the EU have ratified the ICZM Protocol.
1st panel (l-r): Ms. Škaričić, Mr. Šimunović, Mr. Margeta, Mr. Trumbić, Mr. Prem, Mr. Leone
The second panel was moderated by Ms Daria Povh Škugor, senior programme officer at PAP/RAC. The panel hosted H.E. Ms Corinne Meunier, Ambassador of France in Croatia, Mr. Predrag Jelušić, Director of the Public Enterprise “Morsko Dobro”, Montenegro, Ms Maria Snoussi, Professor at the University Mohammad V in Rabat, Morocco and formerly the CAMP Morocco Coordinator, Ms Iryna Makarenko of the Black Sea Commission, and Mr. Ivica Trumbić representing IOC/UNESCO. Ms Meunier spoke briefly of the involvement of France in MAP and mentioned the recently closed CAMP project in the Department of Var. Mr. Jelušić referred to the message sent to the meeting by Mr. Branimir Gvozdenović, Vice-President of the Parliament of Montenegro and Honorary Ambassador for the Coast 2017 who was unable to participate. Montenegro had the opportunity to implement a CAMP project which led to significant changes in the way that coastal zone is planned and managed. Ms Snoussi spoke of the experience of the CAMP project implemented in the Central Rif area of Morocco and the positive effects it produced. Ms Makarenko pointed out that the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions are separated and at the same time connected with a narrow strait. Therefore, it is more that natural for these two regions to collaborate. PAP/RAC and Black Sea have a long history of collaboration, from the time of the former PAP/RAC director, Mr. Arsen Pavasović, who is still today an iconic personality because he helped establish the coastal centre in Krasnodar, Russia, to the EU-funded project PEGASO which allowed the transfer of the Mediterranean experience in ICZM and led to the preparation of the Black Sea Guidelines for ICZM. In February 2016 the bilateral collaboration was formalised by signing the MoU between the UNEP/MAP and the Black Sea Commission’s Secretariat which will put on the agenda some common issues of interest, as ICZM, marine litter, invasive species and others. Mr. Trumbić informed the meeting that the partnership between PAP/RAC and UNESCO was also of a long date: with its IHP Division within the GEF MedPartnership and MedProgramme, and with IOC Division within the mentioned PEGASO project and with some projects to come.
2nd panel (l-r): Ms. Povh Škugor, Ms. Meunier, Mr. Jelušić, Ms. Snoussi. Ms. Makarenko, Mr. Trumbić
After the panels, the Honorary Ambassador for the Coast 2018 was nominated. It was Ms Zrinka Cvitešìć, a famous Croatian actress, also famous for her interest and involvement in environmental issues. She sent one of the most powerful messages of the day:
"Unfortunately, along with all the wars that are going on, and that are terrible and stupid, there is one more in parallel: a war of man against nature". She also pointed out that it was very important to recall the meaning of the word "measure" and apply it as much as possible.
Ms. Zrinka Cvitešić, Ambassador for the Coast 2018
In the afternoon the participants visited the Strossmayer Park, or Đardin as the locals call it, which was bustling with activities over the days preceding the Coast Day and on that very day. The following activities were organised:
In the afternoon the sculpture “Walkers” by the famous Split sculptor Vasko Lipovac, appeared at Riva (waterfront promenade). In the evening a concert was organised at the Peristyle square in which the folklore groups “Jedinstvo” and “Filip Dević” took part, as well as the “Papandopulo” saxophone quartet. The finishing touch for the day full of events was the video installation prepared within the project Pomorsko je dobro! #embracethemediterranean, implemented by the Administrative Department of Tourism and Maritime Affairs of the Split-Dalmatia County.
Prior to the main event on 25 September, a plethora of activities took place involving PAP/RAC partners. The first event organised was a photographic exhibition “Legends of the Mediterranean” opened in the gallery of the Split City Museum on Saturday, 15 September, presenting the works of Stipe Surać, a renowned Croatian photographer from Zadar. International travelling photo exhibition "Small islands, pioneers of sustainability" organised by the association Small Island Initiative (SMILO), with support by PAP/RAC, the French Embassy in Croatia and the Alliance Française from Split was opened on Monday, 24 September, by H.E. Ms Corinne Meunier, Ambassador of France in Croatia.
Apart from those exhibitions there were other activities. On Sunday, 23 September, in the area of Vranjic, the association UPA ROSTRUM, in collaboration with the diving ecological club Solin, PlasticFreeMed initiative, Med Sea Foundation and the foundation Parley for the Oceans, organised seabed cleaning. On Monday, 24 September, and Tuesday, 25 September, the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries had open days – guided tours in the duration of approximately 1 h. From mid-September to end-October students of the School of Fine Arts, Split, with their mentor Hana Letica, in cooperation with the Split Port Authority, made a “mural” on the new customs pier, aimed at raising awareness of the dangers for sea creatures from waste in the sea.
In addition to posters and other dissemination materials to promote the CO-EVOLVE project that were displayed at all events, PAP/RAC had its own stand in the Strossmayer Park to provide information on the project activities. A close collaboration was achieved with RERA SD that is implementing a pilot project within the CO-EVOLVE WP4 in the Kaštela Bay. A specific stand was provided by RERA SD colleagues for a more concrete insight into the activities on the ground.
A part of the fair in the park was also an exhibition on “Kaštela coast, space and people from 1900 to 2100”, organized by PAP/RAC in collaboration with the Kaštela Town Museum, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy, Department of Urban Planning and the high-school "Vladimir Nazor". The objective was to present the development of the Kaštela coastal zone since 1900 up to present day, and to provide an insight into possible scenarios for the Kaštela Bay future by the year 2100, which could then be used by RERA as the initial inputs for the development of the Coastal Plan for Kaštela. The past was presented with the photographic exhibition "Cultural Landscapes Kaštela 1960.-2016.", while urban planning students’ works on different scenarios of spatial development of Kaštela up to 2100 and the high-school students’ ideas of traffic infrastructure by 2100 served as food for thought when discussing possible future for the Kaštela coast.