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10 December 2021, 17:04

International summit for cleaner Mediterranean wraps up in Turkey

Photo: aa.com.tr
Photo: aa.com.tr

ANKARA, 10 December (BelTA - Anadolu Agensy). - The countries of a convention designed to protect the Mediterranean Sea from pollution ended their summit Thursday in the city of Antalya on the southern Turkish coast.

Speaking at the closing of the 22nd meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP22), Murat Kurum, Turkey's environment, urbanization and climate change minister, said the representatives discussed and adopted 17 resolutions this year.

Kurum said that “80% of the pollution in the sea is of terrestrial origin. One of the prominent decisions was the update of the protocol on land-based pollutants. Now with this decision, we will make revisions on pollutants and the best techniques for removing pollutants in the coming period.”

He noted that the period of Turkey's presidency of the Bureau of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention will be one in which young people will take the most active role in all decision-making processes and will take charge as international climate ambassadors.

Kurum noted that no matter how big the sea is, protection always starts from the shore.

“With people who are the inhabitants of the coasts, for the common life of all our creatures that own the seas, we are very happy that we put forward the goal of increasing the amount of protected areas in the Mediterranean again with a strong will,” he added.

Environment ministers and delegates from 21 Mediterranean countries as well as European Union and UN representatives attended the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols summit, which is held every other year.

The summit constitutes a multilateral legal framework for the protection of the marine and coastal environment and the sustainable use of resources in the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean Action Plan of the UN Environment Program (UNEP/MAP) is a regional cooperation platform established as the first regional action plan under the UNEP Regional Seas Program.

Although the Mediterranean Sea constitutes just 1% of the world's ocean area, it is home to 4%-18% of the world's known marine species.

In 1975, 16 Mediterranean countries and the European Community adopted MAP, and Turkey became a party to the convention in 1982.

The COP 22 logo features the loggerhead turtle – known to scientists as Caretta caretta – an iconic symbol of biological diversity in the Mediterranean.

Mediterranean loggerhead turtles are affected by marine litter and warming air and seawater. Their plight encapsulates the stark threats posed in the region by the triple crisis of pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.

The loggerhead turtle can be found throughout the basin, but its nesting is concentrated in the Eastern Mediterranean, including in sites located in Antalya, the summit's host city.

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