On 3 - 6 December 2013 Istanbul was the venue of the 18th Ordinary meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention. Hosted by the Turkish government, the Mediterranean countries and the EU discussed and finally adopted a list of decisions by which the future activities will be implemented in the Region and will guide the governance of the whole MAP system.
The major decisions were adopted on the following issues: the management of marine litter, the definition of a Good Environmental Status and the ecosystem approach roadmap, the reform of the MCSD and the revision of the MSSD, the development and/or implementation of Action Plans on sustainable production and consumption, on the Offshore Protocol and on Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity Protocols, as well as on the Compliance Committee including the Reporting Format on the ICZM Protocol. Initiated was the revision of MAP with a view to propose a MAP Phase III, as well as of the budget for 2014-2015 including the financial regulations.
The ICZM Protocol and its Action Plan were emphasised by several speakers at the Ministerial session of this CoP as one of the main MAP priorities and, in particular, as a tool and a process for achieving a good environmental status of the Region, for the integration of the marine and terrestrial parts of the coastal zone, as well as for providing mechanisms for institutional co-ordination and MSP.
The Istanbul Declaration was adopted as a political document to trace the future of MAP.