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12/19: Mediterranean seminar on the PSSAs


SPA/RAC, REMPEC and PAP/RAC together with the UNEP/MAP Coordinating Unit organized the Mediterranean Seminar on Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs) on 13th December 2019 in Tirana, Albania

UNEP/MAP Deputy Coordinator Tatjana Hema, and Mr. Khalil Attia, SPA/RAC Director, participated in the Mediterranean Seminar on Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (Tirana, Albania, 10 -12 December 2019), which was chaired by H.E. Mr. Blendi Klosi, Minister of Tourism and Environment, Albania.

The seminar took place within the framework of the Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas – PSSA and the pilot Marine Spatial Planning-MSP projects, which are implemented as part of the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement between UNEP/MAP and the Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare of Italy.

The seminar has provided Contracting Parties' representatives with relevant legal and procedural information for the designation of PSSAs, including criteria, processes to be followed and information on the measures available through PSSA. This has been coupled with information on MSP including transboundary issues, as well as the governance, policy and technical topics related to Marine Protected Areas and other effective area-based conservation measures in the Mediterranean.

The seminar managed to build a solid knowledge base among the Contracting Parties, to facilitate them to consider the possibility and interest of pursuing on demands to IMO for the designation of PSSAs in the Mediterranean, with support from the Secretariat and relevant Regional Activity Centres, which can serve as an additional important tool for marine conservation in the region.

This seminar is part of a broader set of activities aiming at supporting the identification and planning of relevant joint management measures at marine sub-regional level to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES), with a focus on spatial-based measures (i.e. MPAs, EBSAs, PSSAs) and monitoring and technical tools (i.e. observatories development). Due to the multidimensional nature of this issue, SPA/RAC, REMPEC and PAP/RAC have been working together for this set of activities, under the guidance of the Secretariat, with the overall objective of strengthening the protection of key species and habitats and sustainable management of marine and coastal resources in the Mediterranean through effective area-based conservation measures.