In Portorož, all is prepared for tomorrow’s official opening of the 23rd meeting (COP 23) of Mediterranean countries

From tomorrow until the end of this week, Slovenia’s coastal town will be hosting representatives of 21 Mediterranean countries at the 23rd Meeting of Member Parties to the Barcelona Convention, COP 23 – the Conference for the Mediterranean, taking place under the slogan “Green Transition in the Mediterranean: from decisions to actions”. Here, Slovenia will take over the two-year presidency of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Regions of the Mediterranean (the Barcelona Convention).

The official opening of the meeting will begin with introductory speeches by representatives of Turkey as the current country of presidency, representatives of Slovenia as the new country of presidency, and representatives of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), within which the Convention operates as well.

The meeting will open with official speeches by: Fatma Varank, Deputy Minister of the Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change of Turkey and President of the Barcelona Convention Presidency, Maša Kociper, State Secretary in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, deputy executive director of UNEP and Tatjana Hema, coordinator of the UNEP/MAP Mediterranean Action Plan.

At the informal reception taking place this evening, the gathered delegates will be hosted by Maša Kociper, Slovenia’s state secretary.

Today, a book presentation was held at a separate press conference organised by the Maritime Law Association of Slovenia in cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, presenting the book Legal aspects of Marine Protected Areas in The Mediterranean Sea: An Adriatic and Ionian Perspective, published in September 2023 by the London publishing house Routledge. The book presents a special example of cooperation between experts from Slovenia, Italy and the wider region, with the aim of achieving goals in the field of biodiversity conservation. It brings an in-depth international law review of legal foundations for the establishment and development of marine protected areas in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea. It’s intended to contribute to meeting the objectives in the EU’s strategy for biodiversity conservation by 2030. The book also serves as a valuable resource for individuals and students striving for a better understanding of international and EU law, as well as of specifics of the EU-Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) strategy and the Barcelona Convention that are crucial for effective protection of marine ecosystems.

Within the scope of the meeting of member parties, a Ministerial Meeting will be held on Thursday, 7 December 2023. It will be attended by Alenka Bratušek, Slovenia’s Ministerof Infrastructure,and the introductory speech will be given by Dr Robert Golob, Slovenia’s Prime Minister.  On Thursday, there will also be a central debate as part of this year’s meeting in which Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, a reputable scientist and one of Slovenia’s pioneers in the field of climate change exploration, will participate.

#COP23Med #COP4Mediterranean