The Mediterranean Coast Day is an initiative to promote the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) as the optimal policy framework for achieving sustainable development of coastal areas, and the PAP/RAC, the Coastal Management Centre of UNEP/MAP, is the promoter of this action in the Mediterranean Region.

This initiative aims to increase environmental awareness among policy makers, academics, media, NGOs and local populations, but also to promote and implement activities that, at the same time, consider fragile, ecological, social and cultural contexts and lead to sustainable coastal development.

In order to ensure a high visibility of this initiative for an active commitment to the protection of our coasts and the sea, the PAP/RAC invites prominent personalities, eminently qualified, as Ambassador for the Coast, in order to sollicit policy makers of all countries to join us. The Ambassador’s role includes participating in the main Coast Day celebration and supporting efforts to raise awareness of the value of the coast and its sustainable development through interviews and messages.
A new Coast Ambassador is appointed each year.

Coast Day continues to be celebrated every year in the Mediterranean. Each year the main celebration of the Mediterranean is organized in a different country, while other countries organize their own events.

The date of 25 September was selected to commemorate the first ratification of the ICZM Protocol by Slovenia. Now more than ever, commitment to compliance and enforcement of the instruments adopted under the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols is critical to the region’s efforts to recover better in the post-COVID era


Explore past editions

Mediterrean Coast Day 2023 focused on coastal aquifers, with the main celebration held in Vlora, Albania

In 2022, Morocco hosted the main event in the vibrant city of Tangiers, highlighting the crucial theme of climate resilience

In 2021, the theme warned about the increasing coastal urbanisation and called for the promotion of sustainable tourism practices

Ambassador for the Mediterranean Coast 2023

Alket Islami, Ambassador for the Coast 2023

Aerial photographer, cameraman paragliding and paramotor instructor, he is also the president of the National Aero Club of Albani.  Alket Islami has published several different volumes of “Albania From The Air”.

Class 1965 and born in Tirana, he studied Geography and History at University of Tirana and through his passion he has developed a new relationship with his country.

Alket Islami has chosen to show Albania with images taken “from the air”: through the seasons and years, he managed to capture the environmental changes of the Albanian coast.

In the air, Alket is in his element: armed with a camera took hundreds and hundreds of photos, shows different moments revelated time after time, and evidence of the transformations that have left their mark on the Albanian coast.

Over the years, PAP/RAC has awarded the title of Ambassador for the Mediterranean Coast to different personalities ranging from actors to country representatives, through writers and other sailors. This year this significant title is dedicated to Alket Islami and his important outreach work.

Coast Ambassadors of past years 

Through the years, PAP/RAC attributed the title of Ambassador for the Mediterranean Coast to very diverse personalities ranging from actors to country representatives through writers and other sailors. In this section, we wanted to present some of our ambassadors

Mr. Andrej A. Gajić, Ambassador for the Coast 2022

Scientist, biology professor, underwater researcher, but also author, photographer, entrepreneur, traveler, and skydiver: he is Andrej A. Gajić the new Coast Day 2022 Ambassador.

An eclectic researcher, he has conducted original studies on the zoology, ecology and pathology of sharks, rays and skates in order to develop long-term conservation strategies throughout the Mediterranean.

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Lefteris Arapakis, Ambassador for the Coast 2021

Lefteris comes from a long line of Greek professional fishermen.
He co-founded Enaleia, an organization with a vision to make the marine ecosystem sustainable. Enaleia has created the first school for professional fishing in Greece and a wide-scale plastic clean-up, the Mediterranean CleanUp, through working with a thousand fishers, where the collected waste is integrated into the circular economy. Lefteris has been awarded as the UN European Young Champion of the Earth 2020. He is a graduate of the Athens University of Economics and Business

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Mr. Oliviero Montanaro, Ambassador for the Coast 2020

Mr. Oliviero Montanaro, Director General for Sustainable Growth and Quality of Development of the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea, has for more than 20 years been actively engaged in the protection of the Mediterranean marine environment and coastal region through the implementation of the Barcelona Convention in his role of MAP and PAP/RAC Focal Point for Italy.

Ms. Xenia I. Loizidou, Ambassador for the Coast 2019

Ms. Xenia I. Loizidou is a civil/coastal engineer (PhD). For 30 years she has been a researcher, a volunteer and an activist in the fields of coastal zone management. She has worked in more than 50 countries, travelling the coasts and the seas of the world. She has received numerous international awards for her work on the protection of coastal and marine environment, such as the Iconic Woman Award by the Women Economic Forum in 2016.

Zrinka Cvitešić, Ambassador for the Coast 2018

In 2018, the title of honorary Ambassador for the Coast has been awarded  to Ms Zrinka Cvitešić, exceptional artist and famous actress  who has  been building her career both on film and in theatre, in Croatia and abroad.

 She is the  winner of numerous awards for her acting, among which we would like to point out the one for the best actress from the Mediterranean awarded her on a film festival in Egypt in 2010.

Apart from being a great actress, she is also a great supporter of environmental causes and a proud owner of an olive grow in the island of Brač. The oil produced from her olives is of such quality that it was prized in Croatia two years in a row: bronze medal in 2016 and silver medal in 2017.

Mr. Branimir Gvozdenović, Ambassador for the Coast 2017

The honorary title of “Ambassador of the Mediterranean Coast” for 2017 was awarded to Mr. Branimir Gvozdenović, Vice-President of the Parliament of Montenegro.

Mr. Didac Costa, Ambassador for the Coast 2016

A famous Catalan skipper from Barcelona, Mr. Didac Costa is a professional fireman. Working out of the Cerdanola fire station, in the suburbs of Barcelona, he explains that his job has some similarities with sailing: “You have to know how to work as part of a team, you don’t get much sleep…and you have to remain calm, whatever happens.”

Children from the Mediterranean 2015

On September 25, at the end of the plenary session of the Regional celebration of the 2015 Mediterranean Coast Day in Antibes, France, children from Antibes got on the stage to present their project “I love my sea”, that they had developed all along this year, and delivered their Declaration in favour of the conservation of the coasts of Europe and the Mediterranean. The main message is that those who will inherit the coast will be our “Ambassadors for the coast”.

Mr Anil Markandya, Ambassador for the Coast 2014

Anil Markandya is a resource economist who was appointed the Executive Director for the Basque Centre for Climate Change in April 2008.He has worked extensively on climate change and energy and environment issues and has received a number of awards. He was one of the core team that drafted the IPCC 4th Assessment that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. 

Recognising his personal contribution to the understanding of the climate change and its impacts on the future of our Planet, as well as his commitment to transferring experience and knowledge, Mr. Markandya was eminently qualified to invite policy-makers of all the countries to collaborate on raising awareness on the consequences of the climate change to the coasts and on the importance of our actions in that regard, including taking steps to solve causes and consequences of the climate change.

Mr. Jérôme Bignon, Ambassador for the Coast 2009

Mr. Jérôme Bignon, member of the French Parliament and politician active in the field of coastal management, accepted PAP/RAC invitation to be the “Ambassador for the Coast”. Mr. Bignon is a Vice-President of the Commission on Sustainable Development and Planning of the National Assembly, as well as a president of the Coastal Conservatory.

HRH Princess Lalla Hasna, Ambassador for the Coast 2008

The appointment of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasna, President of the Foundation Mohammed VI for the Protection of Environment, to the position of the “Ambassador for the Coast” comes as a recognition of high-minded actions and intensive work undertaken by HRH Princess Lalla Hasna and by Morocco towards the protection of the environment and the improvement of life conditions of the populations.

Mr. Mustafa Tolba, Ambassador for the Coast 2008

Mr. Mostafa Kemal Tolba was appointed Ambassador for the Coast in 2008. In addition to being one of the founders of the Regional Seas Programme and the Mediterranean Action Plan,  he was also among the key persons that succeed to bring environment on the policy agenda of the policy makers worldwide. Today, the idea of international environmental action is commonplace. Only 40 years ago this was not the case. Mr. Tolba led the Egypt’s delegation at the historical UN Stockholm Conference in 1972 at which the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) was launched.

Mr Tolba joined UNEP as Deputy Executive Director in 1973 and became Executive Director in 1975. He led UNEP at this position for the following 17 years. With his scientific background, developing country origin and lifelong experience in global policy, Mr. Tolba profoundly understood and advocated the idea of development without destruction. Unfortunately, Mr. Tolba passed away in 2016. His contribution to the foundation of the global environmental action through his committed lifelong service to people and the planet resulted with the valuable legacy.

Mr. Predrag Matvejevic, Ambassador for the Coast 2007

Mr Predrag Matvejevic, is the author of the famous “Mediterranean Breviary”, a book of lyric essays translated into more than 20 languages. For this masterpiece he was proposed by a group of more than 60 Italian artists, led by Umberto Ecco, for a Nobel prize for Literature in 2016.  In this book, he reveals to the reader the magical Mediterranean – the Mediterranean we want to preserve.

The “Mediterranean breviary” recalls how our supposed differences could be transformed into reasons for coexistence, enrichment and sharing. He invented a theory of “geopoetics”, foreshadowing that it is about places and spaces that sediment the history and sentiments of many nations and radiate poetry; it is not the poets that create poetry, they only absorb it and “transform” it into verses, putting it at disposal of others. As Croatian poet Jure Kaštelan said, he was opening the windows to the sun…

Unfortunately, Mr. Matvejević passed away in 2017. In these tough times for the Mediterranean, we already miss his wisdom and humanity.

Mr. Chérif Rahmani, Ambassador for the Coast 2007

Mr. Chérif Rahmani, the Algerian Minister of Land-use Planning, Environment and Tourism, United Nations Ambassador for 2006 – International Year of Deserts and Desertification, Champion of the Earth for 2007 and President of the Foundation ‘Déserts du monde’ accepted to be the “Ambassador for the Coast” in a MAP initiative to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable coastal zone management.

Mr. Renato Soru, Ambassador for the Coast 2007

Mr. Renato Soru, Ambassador for the Coast, is the President of Sardinia Region and a policy maker who enabled one of the most courageous initiatives to secure sustainable coastal development in the Mediterranean. Creation of the Sardinia landscape plan, establishment of the Coastal Conservatory and introduction of new taxes related to the use of the coastal space were only a few of examples of Mr. Soru’s engagement in the development and protection of the coast.