The 16th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans (RSCAPs) was held in Athens, Greece, from 29 September to 1 October 2014. The secretary General of PERSGA Prof . Ziad Abu Ghararah attended the meeting. Participants representing: 16 regional seas conventions and action plans, UN organizations and intergovernmental organizations, and the media were present.
The main objectives of the meeting were to: discuss the role of the RSCAPs in the process of developing a sustainable development goals (SDG) on oceans within the post-2015 development agenda; present progress in the implementation of the Regional Seas Strategic Directions 2013-2016; discuss the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) and regional actions on marine litter; and discuss the development of a roadmap for implementing the visioning priorities for the next 10 years. During the three days of the meeting, the representatives of the RSCAPs interacted intensively through presentations, open discussions and brainstorming sessions on a long-term vision for the RSCAPs. On the first day of the meeting, UNEP launched the report “The Importance of Mangroves: A Call to Action” at a press conference on the 40th Anniversary of the Regional Seas Programme. The report summarizes the presentations and discussions during the meeting.
During the meeting, the secretary general of PERSGA delivered two presentations: the first presentation was on the first day of the meeting and dealt with PERSGA Mid-term report on the implementation of the Regional Seas Strategic Directions 2013-2016. The second presentation was delivered on the second day and was on PERSGA experience in the development of the Marine Litter Action Plan for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region.
Both of the presentations were very well received by the participants and followed by very fruitful discussions.
One intervention suggested that ways to overcome some barriers could include: mobilizing civil society and public opinion; using RSCAPs comparative advantage to improve cross agency work at national and regional scale; and initiating changes in UNEP to fully integrate the RSP in the programme of work and budget. Another participant suggested upgrading the mandate of the conventions secretariats to play a coordinating, clearing-house role for activities in the regions.
The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden