Policy makers from 21 Mediterranean countries approved to include seven new sites on the SPAMI list (Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance) at the last meeting of Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention held in Paris (February 2012), officially informed by the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA)
The Contracting Parties of Barcelona Convention examined these proposals and decided to include the concerned areas to the SPAMI list as mentioned on the decision IG 20/7. The new sites in the SPAMI list are: France: - Marine Park of the Blue Coast - Embiez archipelago (Six Fours) Italy: - Marine Protected Area of Porto Cesareo - Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara - Marine Protected Area of Penisola del Sinis - Isola di Mal di Ventre Lebanon: - Tyre Coast Nature Reserve - Palm Islands Nature Reserve To be included in the SPAMI list, the new sites have to comply with the guidelines for the establishment and management of specially protected areas and the common criteria according to the SPAMI List (Annex I of the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean). Nature restoration IUCN launched marine activities in the Palm Islands Nature Reserve in Lebanon during the war in July/August 2006, as a military attack blew up the oil depots of the Jiyyeh power plant, leading to the discharge of almost 15,000 tonnes of fuel oil into the sea with severe damage to the marine environment in many locations along the coast. Amongst the affected areas was the Palm Islands Nature Reserve (PINR) and its rich biodiversity. Now this area is today included as SPAMI. Furthermore, IUCN-Med is working on a marine protected areas strategy for Lebanon. The three new SPAMI from Italy and one from France (The Blue Coast) are members of the Network of Managers of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean (MedPAN), where IUCN-Med, as a partner, contributes to bringing innovative aspects of the management effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas, including the marine Natura 2000 sites. By the inclusion of these sites in the SPAMI List, the Mediterranean countries committed themselves to observe the protection and conservation measures governing these areas.