NGOs Adopt Declaration to Create Mediterranean ECA

An alliance of several European environmental organizations adopted a declaration to designate the Mediterranean Sea as an Emission Control Area (ECA) in an effort to limit air pollution from ships. 

The document, known as the “Rome Declaration”, was signed by a group of NGOs including BirdLife Malta, Cittadini per l’Aria, France Nature Environnement, Ecologistas en Acción and the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) at their mission statement in Rome in March 2017.

The signatories urge policymakers to take action on air pollution in shipping and work towards the establishment of a Mediterranean ECA.

“The establishment of a Mediterranean ECA will restore the level playing field in the single European market where ship owners/operators and ports in the South face the same regulatory requirements as in the North,” the declaration states.

The initiative to form ECA in the Mediterranean follows the introduction of Emission Control Areas for sulfur (SECAs) and nitrogen (NECAs) in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel.

The introduction of SECA in the Baltic and the North Sea had a positive environmental effect, according to the study released by NABU last year.