• 29 Apr, 2021
Webinar on Underwater Cultural Heritage and Exploration...

On 13th of April and under the Turkish Coordination of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Back Sea, took place a Webinar on Underwater Cultural Heritage and Exploration of Potential Sites in the Black Sea.

It was a good opportunity to share views on the topic in particular to consider how some project ideas could be developed supporting the CMA in particular its Goal II by fostering knowledge on underwater  heritage  to improve its protection but also its promotion by tourism in the Black Sea.

It gave views on the implementation of pilot projects, the measures on which CMA countries could consider as potential axis of collaboration in the Black Sea and beyond.

Below you can find the presentations of the main speakers:

- Ms. Larisa Danilova, Scientific and Research Institute of Maritime Spatial Planning Ermak NorthWest, Russian Federation - Experience from the project “Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme BalticRIM” and Relevant Ideas for the Black Sea.

- Dr. Nayden Prahov, National Archaeological Institute with Museum, BulgarianAcademy of Sciences, Bulgaria - Experience from the project ‘Underwater Archaeology Field School in the Black Sea’ 

- Mr. Glicherie Caraivan, Ph.D., National Institute for Research and Development of MarineGeology and Geoecology (GeoEcomar), Romania - Experience from the project ‘Western Black Sea Underwater CulturalTourist Routes’

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  • 21 Apr, 2021
Sustainability criteria for the blue economy

The blue economy is a pivotal component of global economies. There is international consensus that the blue economy boosts employment and innovation, and offers significant opportunities for economic development and investment, including to local communities. The current output of the global blue economy, worth USD 1.5 trillion, is expected to double by 2030. In addition to its potential to drive significant economic and socio economic development, the blue economy can play a central role in alleviating the pressures on land resources and fostering climate change mitigation and adaptation. In this context, the need to develop and promote sustainable blue economy activities has become critical, based on a common understanding at the international level of the activities and practices that contribute to it. This study is a step towards the establishment of such a common understanding by developing a set of criteria to assess the sustainability of blue economy activities. The outcome of this study is an outline of a Blue Economy Sustainability Framework, which provides a preliminary set of sustainability criteria and indicators across various blue economy sectors. Additional input from stakeholders would be essential to further develop and refine the Framework.

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  • 20 Apr, 2021
EU International Ocean Governance Forum 2021: Setting t...

On behalf of the European Commission and the European External Action Service to the third conference of the IOG Forum held virtually under the headline “Setting the Course for a Sustainable Blue Planet”, 20 April 2021.

The “recommendations document for enhancing EU action” presented during the event can be downloaded here.


If you have not been able to attend all sessions, or if you would like to inform interested colleagues about the conference, please find here the video stream recording.


Do stay connected to the IOG Forum activities (#IOGForum, #OceanEU and website).


Kind regards and stay healthy

The IOG Forum Team

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  • 20 Apr, 2021
11th International Black Sea Symposium on "A collective...

The International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS) successfully hosted its 11th International Black Sea Symposium, on “A collective recovery for the Black Sea Region in the post-covid era”, on 20 April 2021. The 11th IBSS aimed to offer a platform for dialogue among stakeholders to discuss challenges for, and best practices of national and regional response to the pandemic since the covid-19 outbreak, as well as to exchange views on opportunities and synergies for a sustainable socioeconomic plan for a collective recovery in the Black Sea region.

For further information and speakers' presentations, click here.

Watch the video here.




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  • 12 Apr, 2021
Public consultation on sustainable fisheries agreements...

The Commission is launching an evaluation of the sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPAs). For that evaluation, the feedback from public is very important. Therefore, the Commission has launched a public consultation, so that  citizens and concerned stakeholders can give their views based on their experience and knowledge of SFPAs and their implementation. The public consultation can be found on the Have Your Say website.

The public is invited to reply to a questionnaire

Have your say!

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  • 09 Apr, 2021
New surveys reveal heightened concern about ocean pollu...

At the eighth annual World Ocean Summit, Yohei Sasakawa, chair of The Nippon Foundation, and Lord Deighton, chair of The Economist Group, signed a memorandum of understanding for Back to Blue, a three-year collaboration between the two organisations to contribute fresh analysis, dialogue and potential solutions around ocean pollution.

As part of Back to Blue, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in cooperation with the World Ocean Initiative and in association with The Nippon Foundation, conducted two surveys in December 2020/January 2021 to uncover consumers’ and executives’ understanding of issues facing the ocean. The consumer survey encompassed more than 3,000 people around the world, with one half from generation Z (born 1997 onwards) and millennials (1981-1996) and the other half from generation X (1965-80) and baby boomers (1946-64). The business survey covered more than 1,000 global executives from a variety of sectors, including finance, food (including fishing), beverages, travel (including shipping) and tourism, and energy.

Please find more information in the following link.

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  • 06 Apr, 2021
HEI INITIATIVE - Innovation Capacity Building for Highe...

HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education was launched by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and is led by EIT RawMaterials ‐ one of the EIT's Knowledge and Innovation Communities. It is part of the 2021–2027 EIT Strategy, and it aims to help higher education institutions to build the capacity to innovate and to teach innovation and entrepreneurship. More specifically, the initiative aims to encourage these institutions to look at their own practices and develop concrete actions to increase their impact on their ecosystems. 

As part of HEI Initiative: Innovation Capacity Building for Higher Education, the EIT has announced a Pilot Call for Proposals, inviting higher education institutions to design activities that will improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity.

Read our press release & factsheet

The call will fund 23 pilot projects to be implemented in 2021−2023. The total maximum budget per project is €1.2 million, broken down as follows: €400,000 for Phase 1 (July−December 2021) and €800,000 for Phase 2 (January 2022−July 2023).

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  • 02 Apr, 2021
Launch of the 2021 Small-Scale Fisheries University ("S...

On behalf of the Friends of SSF platform, we are pleased to inform you that the 2021 SSF University programme is now available online: http://www.fao.org/gfcm/activities/fisheries/small-scale-fisheries/ssfuniversity/en/.

What is the SSF University?

The SSF University stems from the Regional Plan of Action for Small-Scale Fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (RPOA-SSF) and is designed to offer small-scale fishers and fish workers from around the region the opportunity to exchange experiences, share good practices and learn from one another.

How does it work?

The 2021 SSF University programme consists of 5 courses aligned with the main themes of the RPOA-SSF:

-        Promoting strong and innovative SSF value chains (May – July 2021)

-        Decent work and social protection (September 2021)

-        Participatory management processes (October 2021)

-        Collaboration between small-scale fishers and scientists: a strategy for enhancing research, data collection and fisheries management (November 2021)

-        Small-scale fishers: guardians of our changing marine environment (December 2021)

Each course will consist of a series of workshops on select topics (for more information see the full programme here)

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all 2021 SSF University courses are foreseen to be held online.

Who should participate?

The SSF University is designed for small-scale fisheries stakeholders, in particular small-scale fishers, fish workers and SSF organization representatives active in the sector throughout the Mediterranean and the Black Sea region. To facilitate participation, interpretation will be provided in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. Additional languages may be added on an ad hoc basis depending on the interest and language needs of registered participants.

How to participate?

SSF stakeholders interested in participating are invited to complete the online registration form here, selecting the courses you wish to attend. Registration for each course will close one week prior to the start of the course. Specific instructions for accessing the course, including login details, will be shared with registered participants in the days prior to the start of the course.

We look forward to seeing you at the SSF University! Please feel free to share this announcement with your colleagues and partners! For any additional questions or further information, please contact RPOA-SSF@gfcmonline.org

With best wishes,

The GFCM Secretariat

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  • 26 Mar, 2021
SURVEY - United Nations “Strengthening the Science-Poli...

United Nations Webinar on “Strengthening the Science-Policy Interface for the Ocean Sustainability”  was organized by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, in cooperation with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. It was held in anticipation of the launch of the Second World Ocean Assessment (WOA II), and in connection with the initial phase of the third cycle (2021-2025) of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socioeconomic Aspects (“the Regular Process”), and of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), which both started in January 2021.

The event generated great interest. More than 1,500 participants from 143 countries registered for this event. It sparked some very interesting discussions around the importance of ocean science-policy interface, as well as experience and best practices in strengthening it at all levels.

If you have missed parts of the Webinar, or would like to listen again to some presentations, we invite you to look at the full recording of the event which has been made available here on United Nations Web TV. Please feel free to pass this information along to anyone that may be interested.

We are interested in hearing about your experience during the event, and would appreciate it if you could provide your valuable feedback by filling out a short survey, which you can find here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WPQYSL7


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  • 26 Mar, 2021
JPI Oceans new strategy framework officially launched

Developed with JPI Oceans members and co-created with stakeholders, the new Strategy Framework provides a coherent setting for the coming years for efficient and impactful pan-European research and innovation, in support of healthy and productive seas and ocean. It builds on the previous design, vision and scope of JPI Oceans, while also directing the lens towards external European and international developments that have emerged since the adoption of JPI Oceans’ first research and innovation agenda. 

An important ambition of the strategy framework is to further strengthen the collaboration of JPI Oceans with EU initiatives, sea basin initiatives, overseas countries, sister JPIs and other partners. To that effect, the JPI Oceans Strategy Framework 2021-2025 provides the strategic basis and the transition to a stand-alone, legal entity (AISBL) ensures the formal status. 

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  • 22 Mar, 2021
Second round of consultation for the preparation of the...

The first round of consultations – carried out in February 2021 and which involved country events and the compilation of a first online questionnaire – produced results which were jointly ratified by the programme’s representatives. The results confirmed the areas of interest and concentration of the programme within the following three fields:

Under Policy Objective 1 (PO1) “a more competitive and smarter Europe and its neighbourhood by promoting innovative and smart economic transformation”:

           Developing and enhancing research and innovation capacities and the uptake of advanced technologies

Under Policy Objective 2 (PO2), “a greener, low-carbon transitioning towards a net zero carbon economy and resilient Europe and its neighbourhood by promoting clean and fair energy transition, green and blue investment, the circular economy, climate change mitigation and adaptation and risk prevention and management”:

•           Promoting climate change adaptation, and disaster risk prevention, resilience, taking into account eco-system based approaches;

•           Enhancing protection and preservation of nature, biodiversity, and green infrastructure, including in urban areas, and reducing all forms of pollution.

As the current main goal of the programming process is to identify and detail the fields of action and the potential specific actions to be promoted and funded under the programme, while duly respecting the partnership principle, we invite you to take part in the second round of consultation.

We would kindly ask you to fill in the questionnaire mentioned below, according to your field of expertise, until the 9th of April 2021.

Please note that responses to the questionnaires may be identified and connected with the persons filling them in, persons who, on a voluntary basis, may be invited to comment on the results in an online event organized for this purpose.

Completing the questionnaire may take you about 15 minutes.

You may access the questionnaire for each Policy Objective on the following links:

Questionnaire for PO1

Questionnaire for PO2

Thank you for your interest in the consultation exercise for defining the strategy of the Interreg NEXT BSB programme!

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  • 12 Mar, 2021
Connecting Europe Facility

The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) proposal, worth €33.7 billion, as part of the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027. The Connecting Europe Facility programme supports investment in Europe's transport, energy and digital infrastructure networks. It will support the twin green and digital transition, by contributing to the ambitious targets for the European Green Deal and the Digital Decade.

Find the full press release here!

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