MedCities was one of the Mediterranean actors who participated in the EU Mission Ocean and Waters on 30-31 May in Palermo.  It was a perfect occasion to put forward some Mediterranean cities’ good practices for ocean protection and to keep claiming that regions hold key competencies when it comes to ocean restoration and protection.

The EU Mission Ocean and Waters gained momentum during the Mediterranean Lighthouse event in Palermo. MedCities (involved in the Mission’s Mediterranean Lighthouse through the BlueMissionMed project) co-facilitated together with CPMR IMC a discussion table on the role and engagement of Mediterranean regions, islands and cities in the deployment of the Ocean Mission. During this session, member cities as Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Mersin (Turkey) presented and shared inspirational case studies, which have been incorporated in the event’s Booklet of Innovative Transformative Solutions. The booklet also includes information on solutions developed at projects in which MedCities is partner as the ENI CBC MED ENSERES and Med4Waste, the project A’SIMA Tunis and the Ocean Cities Network (OC-Net). ENSERES activities related to marine litter in the Municipality of Sfax and surrounding territories have been submitted by MedCities to the EU Mission Charter to confirm the network adhesion to the Mission.

During the debate, the participating Mediterranean regions, islands, and cities expressed shared concern over the negative impact of tourism in terms of pollution, habitat degradation due to coastal development, urbanization, and land-use changes as well as the fragmentation of the blue economy made of many different sectors and actors not always aligned or in coordination. The participants underlined the need to consider territorial specificities when acting for ocean protection and restoration, as well as the need to systematize the existing knowledge and increase the human, technical, and financial capacities of the territories.

MedCities Secretary General, Mr. Josep Canals, could report the main outcomes of the discussion with cities in front of the EU Commission and Mission managers. It was an occasion to recall the need to involve local authorities in the design and implementation of key policies, such as the future Nature Restoration Law.

The recording of the thematic sessions is available on the dedicated page on the project website.


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