The Slovenia Times

Danube, Black Sea and Mediterranean regions linked at Slovenia's initiative

Environment & Nature
Gornje Podunavlje, a nature reserve on the Danube's left bank in NW Serbia. Photo: Tanjug/STA

Slovenia has realised the initiative of linking the vast ecosystem of the Danube Region, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean as it assumed the presidency of the Barcelona Convention earlier this month. This is the first inter-regional programme linking the world's most international river basin with the aim of reducing pressure on coastal and marine ecosystems.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, the programmes for the individual areas were agreed on the margins of the 23rd meeting of the state parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea and Coasts (Barcelona Convention) in Portoro┼ż at the beginning of December.

A formal endorsement followed at the meeting of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River in Vienna last week.

According to the ministry, Slovenia has succeeded in bringing together the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, the Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme with the aim of developing inter-regional programmes to monitor the situation, and reduce pressures and impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems.

"This is the result of Slovenia's long-standing work and professional efforts in the framework of the international organisations of the Barcelona Convention and the Convention on the Protection of the Danube River," the ministry said.

The ministry's official Mitja Bricelj is credited with playing an important role in the process. He has been contributing to the success of Slovenia's water diplomacy for many years and is also the national representative for the Barcelona Convention, the ministry said.

Slovenia assumed the two-year presidency of the Barcelona Convention for the second time at the Portoro┼ż meeting on 5-8 December where 21 contracting parties agreed to establish a new Regional Climate Change Centre in Turkey and made a series commitments, including to work for a faster green transition.

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