In the heart of the picturesque coastal town of Portoroz, Slovenia, the world united under the banner of environmental stewardship at the United Nations, 23rd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP23). All For Blue was represented by Giovanni Prete, the leader of the Corfu team and a communications expert. The experience was nothing short of transformative, filled with inspiring statements, impassioned leaders, and a shared commitment to safeguard our precious blue planet.
During this gathering, crucial measures were adopted to safeguard ecosystems in response to the escalating challenges posed by the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Most importantly, the COP23 adopted decisions on the conservation of endangered and threatened species under the Specially Protected Areas and Biodiversity Protocol, extending protection to six additional species of sharks and rays, whilst the contracting parties committed to making every effort to ensure that by 2030 at least 30 per cent of coastal and marine areas are effectively conserved and managed. They also renewed their commitment to halt the degradation of marine and coastal biodiversity through the effective implementation of the Mediterranean region’s post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.
The contracting parties, comprising 21 countries and the European Union, pledged to undertake substantial shifts to decouple economic advancement from environmental degradation drivers. They also committed to accelerating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the Mediterranean region. During the plenary sessions of COP23, UN delegates expressed the urgency to protect the Mediterranean Sea, a region whose ecological significance extends far beyond its shores.
The civil society side event provided a platform for our ambassador to articulate the mission of All For Blue. His presentation on our educational and clean up missions, as well as on our vision for a future where global oceans thrive, and the new generation of people respect and protect them was warmly applauded by the audience, resonating with the work of All For Blue and the vision of its founder Katerina Topouzoglou.
We extend our gratitude to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Mediterranean Action Plan, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia for giving us the opportunity to showcase All For Blue’s mission to the world.