The List of Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI List) has been established in 2001 under the Barcelona Convention’s Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean. So far, 39 protected areas have been included in the List, upon request of the concerned Contracting Party or Parties, in recognition of their ecological, scientific, aesthetic, cultural or educational interest at regional level.
As we experience a biodiversity crisis, not only should we hold on to the glimmers of hope but we must ensure that we spread them around forcefully. And SPAMIs are more than promising glimmers of hope for our Mediterranean Sea. We must also do it as tribute and recognition to the women and men of these areas, working together to protect nature in the most effective way.
This year, and for the first time in two decades, we will celebrate the SPAMIs - as a showcase of the Mediterranean in all its diversity and richness - and we will call for expanded efforts for ocean conservation. SPAMI Day was created for this purpose. The concepts to set up the SPAMI Day and the SPAMI Certificate have been adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention at their COP 22 (Antalya, Turkey, 7-10 December 2021). The SPAMI Day celebration has been set for 15 April each year.
The theme of the 2022 SPAMI Day celebration is “Cooperation and Collaboration” and the chosen slogan is "Together to protect the Mediterranean biodiversity". By picking this theme, we wanted to remind every stakeholder why the SPAMI List was established, and how important it is to work together to protect the Mediterranean and its biodiversity.
For this first edition, SPA/RAC is associated with the Pelagos Agreement Permanent Secretariat and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. The celebration will start on 15 April and will end on a high note with the organization of a special event involving all our partners, on 20 May 2022, in Monaco. This event will bring together all SPAMI managers, as well as representatives of Mediterranean environmental institutions involved in SPAMI management and governance.
It will be structured around a discussion forum and a round table, aimed at strengthening collaboration and exchanges within the SPAMI network, as well as a high-level segment and a SPAMI Certificate awarding ceremony for the 39 SPAMIs.