MEDCOAST 95
THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 
ON THE MEDITERRANEAN COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

24-27 October 1995, Tarragona, Spain

 

TARRAGONA DECLARATION

 

The participants of MEDCOAST 95,

Conscious of the fundamental importance of the health of the Mediterranean and Black Seas including their coastal areas for the health of the coastal communities, the economies of coastal States, the cultural and spiritual life of the Mediterranean and Black Sea community;

Recognizing and fully supporting the important work accomplished by UNEP over the past twenty years in the framework of the Barcelona Convention and the Mediterranean Action Plan, and the significant contributions of other competent Intergovernmental and Nongovernmental Organizations;

Aware of the need to adjust these instruments to the new tasks arising from the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development, in particular, the implementation of Agenda 21 and integrated coastal management in the Mediterranean;

Conscious of the institutional implications of these decisions;

Appreciating the important beginning to meet the new challenges made by the 1995 amendments to the Barcelona Convention and MAP2, as well as by the adoption of the Mediterranean Agenda 21 in Tunis; and

Considering these decisions as a break-through conferring on the Mediterranean community, once more, a leadership role in the regional seas cooperation and development;

Convinced that integrated coastal management requires the further strengthening of regional cooperation and development as well as proper linkages between local, national, regional, and global decision-making, and is in fact unachievable without these;

Believing, therefore, that regional organization is an essential component of the system of ocean and coastal governance for the next century;

Noting the recent entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, of the Climate Convention and the Biodiversity Convention, their impact on coastal and marine management, the obligations arising and the benefits to be drawn from them;


have agreed on the following recommendations:

1. Coastal communities should, as soon as possible, establish appropriate institutional mechanisms for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of integrated coastal management. In accordance with Article 4 (paragraph 3e) and Article 11B (paragraph 2) of the 1995 amendments to the Barcelona Convention, these mechanisms should include the public, for instance, in the form of municipal councils including representatives of science, private sector, professional groups such as fishermen's associations and port authorities, and NGO's.

 

2. Management plans and strategies will vary from municipality to municipality and from State to State in accordance with needs. They must, however, follow general guidelines adopted at regional and national levels; they must balance economic development and environmental conservation concerns and harmonize long-term ecosystem requirements with short-term political and economic interests.

 

3. Proper linkages have to be established between the basic mechanisms for integrated coastal management mentioned in recommendation (1) and the Governments of coastal States, and with the institutions of the Barcelona Convention (Meeting of Contracting Parties) so as to assure public participation in regional decision-making. Article 14b of the 1995 Amendments to the Barcelona Convention ("Observers"), provides the legal framework for this recommendation.

 

4. Recognizing the physical unity of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and various interactions among the two marine ecosystems, the management efforts for these two seas should be co-operative and harmonized. In this context;

a. transfer of knowhow and experience among the States of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea through decentralized cooperation, including creation of networks for joint research and training in the field of integrated coastal management, and integration of the existing international research programs, should be enhanced;

b. the progress in the development of the Black Sea Action Plan should be accelerated;

c. Euro-Black Sea programs, similar to Euro-Med programs of the European Union, in the fields of development and environmental management, especially in management of the coastal and sea areas, should be initiated.

 

5. The functions of the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development and its relations with the Contracting Parties, with institutions of the Barcelona Convention, and with the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development should be clarified.

 

6. A system of joint clean technology development for the Mediterranean (MEDITECH) should be established. This would be in fulfillment of Articles 276 and 277 of the Law of the Sea Convention as well as Article 4 (Paragraph 1c and 5) of the Climate Convention recommending joint ventures in research and development in clean technologies. The system should be decentralized and project-oriented. It should be open to participation by regional and national scientific and technical institutions and enterprises both in the public and the private sector. It might follow the pattern provided by EUREKA, generating a synergism between private and public funding at the level of Mediterranean cooperation. It should stipulate that projects to be approved must have at least one developing country partner. Public funding should be provided by the industrialized countries, in accordance with the Climate Convention Article 4 (Paragraph 3 and 5) and Article 11 (Paragraph 5).

 

7. Energy efficiency and utilization of renewable resources for energy production, water management, environmentally sound shoreline management, and clean aquaculture technology should be on the priority list of projects to be approved by MEDITECH.

 

8. As a regional management policy, further development along the coast should be planned in and around already developed areas. The development of pristine coastal areas should be carried out with great care, and in the case of the developed countries, such sites which still remain, should be preserved for future generations. The potential of the developing States for managing their environmentally or ecologically sensitive special coastal areas should be enhanced by centralized and decentralized regional cooperation.

 

9. Information networking should be improved among Mediterranean and Black Sea countries. A database should be established on the coastal and marine environment in cooperation by the Mediterranean Observatory for Development and Environment (MEDO) and IOC/UNESCO, by facilitating the Mediterranean GOOS initiative. The information should be available to users through internet, and by other means.

 

10. Public information on Mediterranean Action Plan and the Agenda 21, especially among local communities, schools, and tourists, needs to be vastly improved if programme implementation is to be effective.

 

11. The growing importance of national and international NGO's and their networks, and the contributions they can make to the programme implementation at the local, national, and regional level should be realized and fully utilized.

 

12. Implementation of programs should be monitored, and rigorous and objective evaluations should be conducted on a periodic basis to determine the effectiveness of programs and efficiency of the system in achieving the goals and objectives of the Mediterranean Action Plan.

 

13. New ways of securing funding for the implementation of MAP2 should be identified, in accordance with the recommendations made by UNCED and every one of its follow-up conferences. In particular, a tax on tourist should be considered, in accordance with the recommendation put forward at the SIDS Conference (Barbados, 1994). The tax should be paid into the Mediterranean Trust Fund and be utilized for the implementation of MAP2, the Mediterranean Agenda 21, and the advancement of integrated coastal management for sustainable development in the developing coastal states. A precedent in international law for international taxation has been established by the Law of the Sea Convention which has entered into force.

 

14. Regional organization and development is a crucially important component of ocean and coastal governance. It will assume different structural forms in different parts of the world. There are, however, a number of basic issues common to all regional seas, both within and outside the UNEP-initiated system. To enhance the study of these issues, to ensure that regional organization and development keeps pace and properly interacts with the development of coastal management, and to define the place of regional organization and development within the United Nations system, the participants of MEDCOAST 95 recommend the calling of a World Conference on Regional Organization and Development (WOCROD) as part of the series of Conferences following the decisions of UNCED (Rio 1992), since none of the recommendations of the UNCED follow-up conferences can be implemented without regional cooperation and development.

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