‘New deal needed’ for protection of Med Sea
A need for a contract under the U.N. Environment Program, similar to the Barcelona Convention, stands as an inevitable reality, while marine litter and especially single-use plastics threaten the future of seas and sea creatures, a senior Turkish official said.
Speaking at the closing program of the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols (COP22), Turkish Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Murat Kurum underlined that it is of great significance to combat the increase in marine litter caused by the rising consumption of disposable products, especially in the changing world after COVID-19.
Expressing that the entire chain of production, consumption and destruction should be kept under control, Kurum stated that it is necessary to be involved in a full-fledged struggle that concerns all areas of life.
Recalling that marine litter and especially single-use plastics threaten both seas and the future of sea creatures, Kurum said: “In such an important matter, the need for a contract under the U.N. Environment Program, just like the Barcelona Convention, stands before us as an inevitable reality.”
“I would especially like to emphasize that as Turkey, we will support the implementation of this convention, to which the whole world will be a party, and that we will even be one of the first countries to become a party,” he noted.
The minister also stressed that Turkey is ready to host the secretariat of the convention in Istanbul.
Following the speech of Kurum, a loggerhead turtle, an iconic symbol of biological diversity in the Mediterranean and also featured on the COP22 logo, was released back into the natural habitat from the Antalya coast with a satellite tracking device attached to it.
Representatives from 21 Mediterranean countries attended the gatherings on the environment and sustainable development in the region in line with the four-day event held in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.
On the third day of the program, top officials of the participating countries voted on the Antalya Ministerial Declaration as the steps to be taken for the protection of the Mediterranean basin were discussed.
In line with the event, Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdoğan presented an award to officials of the Spanish city of Malaga, which was selected as the winner of the third edition (2020-2021) of the Istanbul Environment-Friendly City Award.