On 28 and 29 January, a meeting was held by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation in the aim of “enhancing engagement of IUCN-Med with councillors and commissions". The meeting, which took place at the Civic Centre in Malaga, was opened by Regional Councillor for the Environment of the Andalusian Government, Cinta Castillo.
In her opening speech, the Councillor maintained that the Andalusian government and IUCN share “similar environmental worries and problems in the Mediterranean framework”, and furthermore she highlighted the fight against climate change, the protection of flora and fauna, habitat conservation and the fight against fires as some of the common objectives for their actions. Cinta Castillo took advantage of this occasion to present the book written by IUCN experts: 'Mediterranean Mosaic', which talks about the vast biodiversity of the Mediterranean and examines its greatest environmental threats, such as desertification, fires, over-fishing and the lack of water resources.
More than 20 expert and professional IUCN members took part in the meeting to discuss the different resolutions applicable to the various topics and likewise the best way of putting them into practice.
A tracking system was also presented to ensure better participation and transparency during the process of implementing the resolutions, and furthermore possible improvements which could be made when it comes to working with commissions, members, and councillors as well as national and regional committees were discussed and analysed during these sessions.
At this meeting, the expected role of IUCN-Med was set out for the part which it will play in the implementation of resolutions through proposals such as establishing a regional forum for oceans, coasts and islands; promoting new tools for facilitating the designation and management of marine protected areas; and lastly, identifying important Mediterranean sites based on the criteria promoted by the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Finally, the need for the offices in Amman, Brussels and Malaga to coordinate their efforts was also highlighted so that complementary work can be carried out and programmes and resolutions synchronized; these being just some of the objectives.