SafeMed Project was presented to delegations mainly from EU Member States and Mediterranean countries attending the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly held in London.
The objectives and results being achieved through the Regional Project on ?Euromed Cooperation on Maritime Safety and Prevention of Pollution from Ships?, known as the SafeMed Project, were presented to delegations mainly from EU Member States and Mediterranean countries attending the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly held in London.
SafeMed aims to reduce maritime accidents and pollution through coordinated action by providing a level-playing field for all stakeholders in the area, improving access to information for all, offering training and assistance, and promoting a common platform for best practices to regulate maritime traffic in Mediterranean coastal States.
The EU-funded MEDA Project is implemented by the Valletta-based Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) in ten Mediterranean partners, namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey on the basis of a contract signed by IMO and the European Commission (EC).
The presentation session was jointly organised by the EC, IMO and REMPEC and attended by the accredited EC Representative to IMO Marten Koopmans and IMO"s Director of the Marine Environment Protection Division Miguel Palomares.
REMPEC"s Director Frederic Hebert, said: ?The Mediterranean Sea is a world"s major shipping area with more than 300,000 port calls per annum and more than 10,000 ships transiting this busy highway every year. Differences in the implementation of international maritime conventions can lead to an increased risk of accidents causing loss of life and environmental damage. In a deeply interlinked Mediterranean environment, damage to one area of the sea impacts every other area.
?This is a regional challenge that requires a regional response. Through the presentation, REMPEC informed delegations of the results achieved through the first project known as SafeMed I particularly with regard to the relevant actions of 2007 Regional Transport Action Plan for the Mediterranean (RTAP), and about the progress made so far on the 3-year SafeMed II Project launched in January 2009.
?We believe that while RTAP continues to be "the road map" for Euro-Mediterranean transport co-operation, the SafeMed Project provides an excellent example of "regional co-operation" in the Mediterranean,? said Mr Hebert. REMPEC"s delegation included the Senior Programme Officer Jonathan Pace and the SafeMed Project Officer Albert Bergonzo.
Launched in 2006, the ?4 million SafeMed I achieved its aims through specific actions in five separate yet highly interconnected areas of action. These are Flag State Implementation, Navigational Safety, Marine Environment Protection, Human Element, and Security. Building on the results of SafeMed I, the ?5.5 million SafeMed II widens its scope of action by including Port State Control, procurement of equipment and an increased emphasis on maritime security.
The first issue of the SafeMed Project quarterly electronic newsletter, entitled The SafeMed Beacon, was launched during the IMO Assembly.