Slovenia chair of Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development

Izola – Slovenia assumed the two-year chairmanship of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development, a multi-stakeholder advisory body set up under the Barcelona convention, as the commission opened its 19th session in Slovenia’s Izola on Monday, to run in hybrid format until Wednesday.

Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak pointed to Slovenia’s achievements under the Barcelona convention and the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR).

He said it was Slovenia’s wish for a partnership to achieve goals along the common sea to be intensified, the Environment and Spatial Planning Ministry said in a release.

“At this very moment, in the period after the Covid epidemic, we need a new, fair and active cross-border cooperation for transition to a sustainable blue economy to achieve a green renaissance of the Mediterranean.”

Vizjak believes Slovenia has achievements to show that can serve as a basis to change trends which cause degradation of the environment and people’s health and to raise the quality of life on the coasts of the common sea.

Slovenia has for instance adopted and implemented the Mediterranean strategy for sustainable development (MSSD), the first sustainable development strategy for a regional sea at the global level, and ratified the integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) protocol as the first country on 25 September 2009, hence 25 September is the international Mediterranean Coast Day, the ministry pointed out.

The Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development features various stakeholders, from research organisations and representatives of local communities to NGOs, including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund.

At its ongoing session, it will discuss a programme of work under the Barcelona convention for 2021-2023 and a new Mediterranean strategy for sustainable development to produce and confirm its positions on the two documents and recommendations.

The programme of work will then put for adoption to contracting parties of the UN framework convention on climate change in Turkey in December.

The ministry also said that Slovenia will push for synergies and connections in implementation of the EUSAIR and the Barcelona convention.