The 2017 Mediterranean Coast Day, organised on September 25 in Tivat, Montenegro was a glowing success. The main event was attended by 150odd participants, representatives of several Mediterranean countries, and a large number of representatives of institutions and other components of the Montenegrin civil society.
The event was organised under the high patronage of Mr. Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro and President of the National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Integrated Coastal Zone Management, who opened the event and gave a highly inspired speech. He confirmed the awareness of the highest political levels of Montenegro of the value of the coastal zones and environmental issues these face, and dedication to resolve them. Combined with great efforts made by relevant institutions, including the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism and the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management, Montenegro has achieved great results that can serve as example for other countries to look up to.
Address by Mr. Gaetano Leone, UN Environment/MAP Coordinator
Mr. Gaetano Leone, UN Environment/MAP Coordinator, expressed profound gratitude to the hosts and in particular to Mr. Vujanović for honouring the event with his presence, as a testament of the commitment of Montenegro as a steady supporter of the UNEP/MAP work. Since 2007 the Mediterranean Coast Day has been a way for the entire MAP system to celebrate the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal areas. Celebrating this day means also celebrating partnerships, of all stakeholders at all levels, from central governments to intergovernmental organizations, to regional and local authorities, to civil society in all its facets, to individuals in all corners of the Mediterranean. Mr. Leone stressed that all the participants in the event shared a goal: a clean, healthy and productive Mediterranean, and that the rich programme of the day, in the conference room and elsewhere, was a small step towards reaching that goal. The ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention was adopted as an innovative response to growing pressures on the coast, an instrument whose objective is not to restrict but to promote sustainable development. He expressed gratitude to Montenegro and other Mediterranean states which have supported the adoption and ratification of the ICZM Protocol.
Ms. Željka Škaričić, PAP/RAC Director, expressed her satisfaction that the 2017 Mediterranean Coast Day was organised in Montenegro, a country that excelled with regard to the achievements related to the Barcelona Convention, and in particular the implementation of the ICZM Protocol. With its approach to coastal zone management, the adopted national strategy for ICZM, the results achieved within the CAMP project and its concrete follow-up, Montenegro is a shining example of implementation of and involvement in UNEP/MAP-led initiatives, setting an example for the others to follow. In her opinion, large public deserves to learn about those achievements, and the Mediterranean Cast Day celebration offered a good opportunity for that.
For his great personal contribution to the cause, and in particular CAMP project in Montenegro, it was decided to award the title of the honorary Ambassador for the Coast 2017 to Mr. Branimir Gvozdenović, Vice-President of the Parliament of Montenegro. In his inspired speech, he reiterated the commitment of his country and pointed out that the reforming turn towards the models of sustainable management of the coastal resources has importance not only for the coastal area but for the sustainable development of the entire Montenegro as an ecological state.
The programme of the event also included several presentations on the positive experience of various countries dealing with environmental issues, as well as on some important projects about to be launched in the area. In parallel with the official event, the Montenegrin hosts organised a number of activities with children ranging from collection and separation of waste on the beaches, to lectures on diving in ecology and theatre play. This was slightly marred by the weather as rain prevented the implementation of the outdoors activities. The highly successful day was rounded up by a cruise through the magnificent bay of Boka Kotorska, the deepest bay of the Adriatic Sea with highly indented coastline.