Intervista di Gaetano Leone di UNEP MAP Atene sulla COP21 a Napoli

Il Mattino


In occasione della COP21 che si è tenuta a Napoli dal 2 al 5 dicembre, UNRIC Italia è lieta di condividere l’intevista del Mattino di Napoli a Gaetano Leone, Coordinatore del Piano d’azione mediterraneo nel Segretariato della Convenzione di Barcellona, con sede ad Atene.

Come sta agendo il governo italiano per salvaguardare l’ambiente marino?

Ms. Joyce Msuya, the Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, expressed sincere gratitude to the Government of Italy for the leadership and support they have consistently demonstrated, not only on marine and coastal issues but on the health of our planet as a whole.

Italy is an important partner of the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP)– Barcelona Convention System. We have a strong partnership with Italy to address some of the most pressing issues in the Mediterranean such as marine litter.

Italy contributed 2,015, 000 EUR in support of our UNEP/MAP 2018-2019 programme.

The Italian support served for concrete activities to ensure benefits to the whole Mediterranean basin. Such activities included the twinning programme linking Italian to other Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI) to enhance management, monitoring and multi-stakeholder participation in marine protected areas.

Italy also hosts IFO/RAC, our Regional Activity Centre providing technical support in information and communication to the entire MAP system, including through building information and knowledge management systems that the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols can use to fulfill their legally-biding obligations.

Italy also supports our governance system and has just assumed the Presidency of the Bureau for 2 years, until the next COP of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols in late 2021.


Quali sono i punti più importanti che sono stati discussi a Napoli?

COP21 adopted the Naples Declaration: an eloquent expression of engagement signaling political backing to the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP)—Barcelona Convention system.

Through the Naples Declaration, the Parties to the Barcelona Convention recognized the relevance of the role, achievements and plans of UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention system in responding to the pressing environmental challenges facing the Mediterranean region.

COP21 adopted the proposed Programme of Work and an increase in the core budget of UNEP/MAP for 2020-2021.

COP21 also endorsed the launch of preparations for the next UNEP/MAP medium-term strategy (2022-2027) and adopted important decisions prepared by the UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat.

A roadmap for the proposal of a possible designation of the Mediterranean as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides was adopted, in line with the terms of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

The Mediterranean has now a plan for the conservation of iconic Mediterranean species such as monk seal, sharks and rays. We now have 4 new sites of “Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI)” in France, Italy (the Egadi Islands Marine Protected Area), Slovenia and Spain.

Mediterranean countries will have tools for a better management of coastal areas, including the strengthening of coastal resilience, as part of the Regional Framework on Integrated Coastal Management adopted in Napoli.

Elements of Six Regional Plans to Reduce and Prevent Marine Pollution from Land-Based Sources (LBS) will now complement and bolster the LBS and Dumping Protocols of the Barcelona Convention.

In addition, COP21 cleared the publication (in 2020) of the UNEP/MAP State of Environment and Development Report, which describes mounting pressure on our basin deriving from population growth, climate change, agriculture and fisheries, tourism, extractive industries, and transport.

COP21 agenda carried a focus on sustainability with a view for UNEP/MAP to underpin efforts by the Contracting Parties in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The outcomes of COP21 in Naples will contribute to the ongoing intergovernmental processes on the ocean, climate change and biodiversity with a focus on the Mediterranean region. Its outcomes will feed into the UNEP marine and coastal Strategy for the 2020–2030 decade.


Com’è lo stato di salute del Mediterraneo rispetto al marine littering e alla salvaguardia delle specie marine?

The Mediterranean is considered the sixth greatest accumulation zone for marine litter. Marine litter in the Mediterranean is mostly composed of plastics. Concentrations are extremely high:  more than100,000 microplastic items/km2, and up to 64 million particles/km2 of floating litter.

It is estimated that up to 80% of marine turtles are affected by litter in some areas around the Mediterranean. And turtles are not the only species affected by the scourge of marine litter in Mare Nostrum.

In Naples, the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols have reiterated their commitment to restoring the health of the Mediterranean, including through action to tackle the scourge of Marine Litter. The Mediterranean Action Plan will continue to support them.


Da molti anni si cerca di favorire accordi tra gli Stati per la salvaguardia dell’ambiente, ma a molti Paesi importanti come Usa e Cina sembra non importare molto del futuro della Terra. Come si può fare per convincere grandi potenze a cambiare la propria politica sulle emissioni inquinanti?

The recently published UNEP Emissions Gap report warns that unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6 per cent each year between 2020 and 2030, the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

2020 will be a critical year for climate action, with the UN climate change conference in Glasgow aiming to determine the future course of efforts to avert crisis, and countries expected to significantly step up their climate commitments.

In the short-term, developed countries will have to reduce their emissions quicker than developing countries, for reasons of fairness and equity. However, all countries will need to contribute more to collective effects. Developing countries can learn from successful efforts in developed countries; they can even leapfrog them and adopt cleaner technologies at a faster rate.

The Mediterranean region has warmed 20% faster than the global average. In the absence of decisive mitigation action, regional temperature will increase 2.2°C by 2040.


Cosa rischia il Pianeta senza immediati interventi per frenare il surriscaldamento climatico?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that going beyond 1.5°C will increase climate impacts, such as sea-level rise and the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report says that even if all current unconditional commitments under the Paris Agreement are implemented, temperatures are expected to rise by 3.2°C, bringing even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts. Collective ambition must increase more than fivefold over current levels to deliver the cuts needed over the next decade for the 1.5°C goal.

One of the decisions that COP21 adopted in Napoli concerns boosting citizen demand for sustainable products. Citizen choices and action matter. Through civil society, committed citizens put pressure on governments to engage in paths of sustainability and to allocate resources to conservation, ecosystem-rehabilitation efforts and to the much needed transition to sustainability. At UNEP/MAP we value the role of civil society organizations and we ensured that the voice of citizens that they covey be heard in Naples through consultations that took place in the context of the preparation of the Naples Ministerial Declaration.