Representatives from 20 countries and the EU met last week in Monaco for the annual meeting of parties to the UN Barcelona convention, designed to protect the Mediterranean marine and coastal environments. A record 15 ministers attended.
Led by UN environment programme chief Klaus Töpfer, delegates agreed that a 1996 revision of the convention and its protocols should be brought into force as soon as possible, with next September's world sustainability summit as a target date. So far, eight countries plus the EU have ratified the revised rules, but another seven need to do so for entry into force. Progress on ratification of revised protocols varies.
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