Gallery of Fine Arts in Split Hosts Central Celebration for Mediterranean Coast Day

Daniela Rogulj

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Mediterranean Coast Day was celebrated on September 25th. 

September 26, 2018 – On Tuesday at the Gallery of Fine Arts in Split, in the presence of numerous participants, the central celebration of the Mediterranean Coast Day was organized. An international meeting on new challenges in the Mediterranean was also held, highlighting the need for joint action for the purpose of sustainable development.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy, Mario Šiljeg, emphasized in the introductory presentation that the Mediterranean area is the most vulnerable to climate change.

“We are witnessing increased pressures on coastal areas, overbuilding, changing the ecosystem and pressure on water resources. For all this, it is important to realize what is set out in the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the Mediterranean,” said Mario Šiljeg.

Coordinator of the Mediterranean Action Plan, Gaetano Leone, noted that in the last forty years, as far as the Coast Management Center (PAP/RAC) is concerned, the Mediterranean has changed significantly. The Mediterranean Sea is one of the world’s most appreciated seas and a home of great biodiversity, with 17 percent of the well-known marine mammals present in an area covering less than one percent of the world’s oceans. It also plays an important role in the economy of the surrounding countries and is an important source of employment. It is estimated that 420,000 people work in the fisheries and mariculture sector, while 550,000 are employed in maritime transport and the Mediterranean coasts account for 30 percent of the world’s total tourist arrivals. But this economic growth has occurred at the expense of the environment, Gaetano Leone stressed. The Coordinator of the Mediterranean Action Plan also warned of the great pollution, both of the coasts and of the sea depths, which hide enormous amounts of various waste. Leone concluded that many people in the Mediterranean countries face numerous challenges, but also stressed the need for state cooperation in sustainable development activities.

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Director of PAP/RAC, Željka Škaričić, presented the activities of this body and explained that the assessment of the damage caused by the sea level rise is one of the key tasks of the PAP/RAC.

“We cannot influence rising temperatures and rising sea levels, but we can reduce the consequences,” said Željka Škaričić. In the activities necessary to preserve the coastal area, all actors should take part – starting from the legislator to the local authorities and business entities, and to take measures to influence the banks not to approve construction loans in areas near the sea, said the director of the PAP/RAC.

In the afternoon of the Mediterranean Coast Day celebration, the participants visited Strossmayer Park, where many workshops were held. At the National Square (Pjaca) from 8pm to midnight, there was a video installation of the sea within the project ‘Pomorsko je dobro!’ implemented by the Department for Tourism and Maritime Affairs of Split-Dalmatia County. In the afternoon, the “Šetaci” of Vasko Lipovac came to the Riva as well, and in the evening program at Peristyle, KUD Filip Dević, KUD Jedinstvo and saxophone quartet Papandopulo performed.


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