Sarajevo opens its doors to the 19th MedCities General Assembly and yearly seminar to strengthen member cities’ ties

The 19th annual General Assembly of MedCities was held in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Hercegovina) in a hybrid format and with the participation of a wide representation of members and observer members.

The Assembly had several important moments; the approval of 7 new members, the approval of the Memorandum of Understanding with observer member MEDPAN, the presentation of the will to do so with the CREAF institution and last but not least, the farewell of Mr. Oriol Barba, MedCities Director.

The Secretary-General of MedCities, Josep Canals, explained the report of activities conducted by the association during 2023, regarding the financial balance, the updates and advances in the Strategic Plan of MedCities 2030, and the communications improvements of the association such as the creation and development of an internal section for members, and the positive results in terms of MedCities impacts in the media after having count with a media agency. Also, Mr. Canals underlined the importance of the common vision of the association: “MedCities is now consolidated as we have new cities trusting us, and funders also continue being by our side, but we can go further in the management of sustainable development projects and new governance for local governments in the Mediterranean“.

Additionally, MedCities Director Oriol Barba exposed the projects developed during the year and their results, and he presented the new ones that are still on going until the end of the year and beyond from programs such as PRIMA, HORIZON, Interreg EURO Med programme and others funded by the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area or the Government of Catalunya (through its Cooperation Agency) as well as some projects funded by the Province of Barcelona-, some of which already started in 2023 and will continue one more year. Mr. Barba also highlighted the will of MedCities to work with more members and be able to count on them on the projects as the main beneficiaries or as pilot or replicable cities, as it has been already done in some projects.

During the General Assembly session, the interventions came from the cities of Sarajevo, Hatay, Roskovec, Larnaca, Union of Municipalities of Dannieh, Montpellier, and Saida, among others. The members agreed on the acceptance of the candidatures of new cities that applied to join MedCities. Finally, the Assembly welcomed 7 new members who had the chance to present themselves in front of the former members. Those who made the association grow until reached 79 members are:

  • Tripoli (Lybia)
  • Napoli
  • Metropolitan Area of Napoli
  • Kerkennah
  • Pula
  • Kotor
  • Ein al Basha Al Jadida

The General Assembly meeting has been also the occasion to present and approve a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MedPan Network (observer member) that establishes several points to work together in the field of Mediterranean biodiversity protection and the need to protect marine areas, taking into account the inland and coastal areas and what they both can do for each other.

Another important pre-agreement was the one presented between MedCities and the CREAF, as both entities are already working together as partners in some Interreg EURO Med projects and both are working to better protect the Mediterranean focusing the efforts on climate crisis mitigation and concretely in coastal cities resilience.

The observer member Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean was also present through Rejhana Dervisevic, a Member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina delegation to PAM (representative of the Bosnia and Hercegovina Parliament) who gave her support to the Assembly meeting.

Additionally, during the sessions, Mr. Canals presented the Memorandum of Understanding that will be officially signed by MEDPAN, the Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas organization, and together with Ms. Carole Martínez, senior policy manager at MEDPAN talked about the common views and work both entities can do together.

The General Assembly of MedCities represents an annual space for the members to express the needs of their cities and to discuss the results of the projects and activities developed during the year. This year, Sarajevo opened its doors to members, observer members, and representatives involved in ENSERES project, as part of the annual seminar.

An agreement with the CREAF center, with whom MedCities already collaborates in some European-funded projects, was also discussed and will be worked on by both entities in the following month.

Nevertheless, the participation and implication of the members have assured the success of the assembly again and have put on the table the most important topics and problems to be tackled together during the following year. Also, a meeting of the Board of Directors was celebrated to get the commitment of its members to continue building a strong association in the future.

Find here some of the documents for the General Assembly 2023

International Seminar

The first-day city members met in Sarajevo was focused on the International Seminar linked to the ENSERES project (ENI CBC MED) entitled: “Reversing biodiversity lose in urban environments in a context of climate crisis: ecosystem approach and nature based solutions”. The event helped to go deeper in sharing experiences to help identify adaptable, transferable solutions to apply at a local level to build resilience at Mediterranean scale. MedCities members could share with a wide audience their experiences of transforming some cities and coastal areas by implementing nature-based solutions.

The seminar served to sessentialssential is to share solutions and experiences between coastal cities.

Objective of the seminar:

  • Highlighting the collaborative successes achieved among protected area and city stakeholders for enhancing socio-ecological resilience levels along the Mediterranean coast.
  • Sharing local transferable experiences in applying NbS and EBM experiences to blue and green infrastructure.
  • Identifying MedCities members’ priorities to address through the Working Groups on “Coastal cities” and “Planning green cities”.

MedCities members and ENSERES participants they experience, for instance: MedPAN explained the case of Cap d’Agde, by Mr. Renaud Dupuy de la Grandrive, director of the MPA of Cap d’Agde. From Tyre, we count on Mr. Ali Badreddine, Manager, Tyre Coast Nature Reserve to talk about the experience of the governance framework and action at a municipal marine protected area in Tyre.

The Governance of Marseille’s coastal and maritime areas: success stories and questions about the resilience of the governance system were presented by Mr. Jean-Charles Lardic, Deputy to the Services General Director, Ville de Marseille.

And how was the collaboration with NGOs, ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Glyfada was detailed by Mr. Sokratis Zachos, Secretary General, Municipality of Glyfada.

The Management Implications at a Protected, Peri-Urban, Salt Lake Ecosystem, the case from Larnaca’s Salt Lakes was presented by Mr. Andreas Karakatsanis, Chief Engineer, Director of Technical Services, Municipality of Larnaca.

To link two of the projects MedCities is involved with, an exhibition about how marine litter affects the sea, and inland territories and what could be done from coastal cities to prevent marine litter was shown at the Sarajevo City Hall main entrance.

The projects Blue Mission Med (from the EU Mission Oceans) and ENSERES were together to showcase the importance of establishing common rules between the northern and southern local authorities to prevent and mitigate the effects of the marine pollution and its impacts.

Find here some of the documents for the International Seminar 2023.

Vols estar al dia dels
projectes de MedCities?

Subscriu-te al nostre butlletí mensual per rebre totes les notícies.