CoCoNET Press Release 22


December, 2013


The Contracting Parties (COP) of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) for the Barcelona Convention, which is part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), came together for their biennial meeting on December 3–6, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Mediterranean Action Plan enables the Mediterranean coastal states to work together on pollution, coastal management and biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

Due to human activities many species are under the threat of extinction now. Marine Protected Areas (MAPs) are recognized as an effective tool to fight this. Unfortunately up to now only 2% of the Mediterranean Sea is protected.

To emphasize the importance of Marine Protected Areas, the CoCoNet team set up a stand for disseminating information, organized a meeting with several stakehlders and distributed 2014 CoCoNet calendars to the attendants of the meeting. Besides, the posters and brochures of the CoCoNet project were distributed

As an outcome of the meeting, the Istanbul Declaration was elaborated, there it was stated that "the Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention commit to develop a comprehensive, coherent network of well-managed coastal and marine protected areas in the Mediterranean by 2020 and thus extend to 10% the Mediterranean network of marine and coastal protected areas including deep seas whether within or beyond national jurisdiction". Further "International organizations, bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations and the private sector" are encouraged to "support the activities of the trust fund for Mediterranean marine protected areas".


Other important issues of the Meeting were;

- the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) to human activities,

- the assessment of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in collaboration with the the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),

- the implementation of the Marine Litter Regional Plan,

- to enforce the the amendments concerning Special Protected Areas and Biological Biodiversity in the Mediterranean in cooperation with all relevant actors, in particular GFCM and IUCN,

- the prevention of pollution from offshore and shipping based activities,

- the implementation of the Action Plan on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) regarding especially the development of plans that protect coastal populations against the adverse affects of climate change,

- and the shift towards Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP),

- to encourage further cooperation and synergies with the Horizon 2020 initiative,

- the establishment of the "Environment Friendly City" award until the next meeting.


Macro algae such as Cystoseira and Phyllophora provide important habitats for small organisms, as sheltering, feeding and breeding areas. The distribution of Cystoseira spp. and Phyllophora crispa habitats in the sublittoral zone along the Dzhangul landslide coast, the northern part of the Tarkhankut has been studied as a pilot project of CoCoNet by the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas; Odessa Branch - National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The community structure and geomorphological features at a depth of 0-20 m had been investigated along 13 transects using SCUBA. The general parameters of bottom vegetation (biomass, density and size/mass structure of the dominant macroalgae) were studied, too. As a preliminary result, the existence of one of the small Phyllophora crispa fields, unattached and attached forms was confirmed on rocky substrate at a depth 15–20 m in the north of the Evpatoriysky Cape. For almost 50 years no survey had been undertaken in this area. Our investigation of the bottom vegetation at the western part of Crimean coastal zone and the Phyllophora phytocoenosis at the western part of Crimean coastal zone was the first one in half a century.

 Cystoseira sp.

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