4-8 December 2023, Portoroz, Slovenia, the Parliamentary Assembly of Mediterranean participated in the 23rd Meeting (COP 23) of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) and its Protocols, organized by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP). PAM’s was represented by both MPs and the Secretariat. representative in this occasion was
At the meeting, Hon. Gabriel Amard (France), PAM Rapporteur on access to water and clean sanitation, addressed the issue of the Regional Urban Stormwater Management Plan within the framework of the Protocol of the Barcelona Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Land-Based Sources. He recalled that PAM firmly supports the establishment of a Regional Plan dedicated to stormwater management
Hon. Amard stated “As the rapporteur of the APM on the right to water and sanitation, I have initiated a series of consultations with institutions responsible for water issues within the member countries of the APM. I have identified very interesting infrastructures, such as the "Acquedetto Pugliese" in Italy, which is exemplary in terms of stormwater management and runoff prevention. It is urgent to vigorously combat water pollution in all countries of the Mediterranean basin. In addition, Hon. Amard recalled that by reducing available water quantities, climate change increases the concentration of pollutants in the water
Moreover, he emphasized the case of the so-called “PFAS”, (polyfluoroalkyl substances), simply known as eternal pollutants, which are often used for industrial uses.
The use of eternal pollutants, however, poses a major environmental degradation threat. Their release goes beyond contaminating stormwater or surface waters, affecting all ecosystems (water, air, soil, and even the food chain).
Hon. Amard suggested a campaign to prohibit the production, emission, and release of these substances throughout the Euro-Mediterranean region and globally, while promoting alternatives that already exist in many cases, and called for the activation of the PAM Academic network to prepare a solid proposal.
Hon. Amard also recalled that he recently conducted a series of missions in PAM countries and held several institutional meetings with governmental authorities, in the framework of his work on access to water and clean sanitation in the Euro-Mediterranean and Gulf regions, which will culminate in a comprehensive report in 2024 that will be presented at the next plenary session of the PAM, scheduled for May 15-16, 2024, in Portugal.
At the COP23, PAM also contributed to the high-level ministerial Session on “Green transition in the Mediterranean: From decisions into actions”, which took place on 7 December 2023, in which PAM reiterated the crucial role of parliamentarians in ensuring the ratification and implementation of key Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). PAM also recalled its solid partnership with UNEP/MAP and the imminent launch – as a result of their collaboration - of the joint UNEP/MAP-PAM project of the “Parliamentarians’ Guide to protect the Mediterranean Sea and Environment”.
The Meeting ended with the adoption of the COP23 Portoroz Ministerial Declaration, which, among other things, required governments to take radical actions in the fight against the drivers of environmental degradation, and to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Mediterranean region. PAM will continue to strongly advocate for the implementation of this recommendation and to promote cooperation among its Members. //