About 100 protected zones will be established throughout the Mediterranean region.
GV Delegates seated in UN conference hall in Geneva
SVs Delegates signing treaty as others look on (6 shots)
SV Delegates listen as Tunisia's delegate speaks in Arabic (2 shots)
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Background: About 100 protected zones will be established throughout the Mediterranean region. They'll be set up to protect endangered species of animals -- such as monk seals and sea turtles; to provide sanctuaries for migratory birds; and to safeguard architectural and historical sites close to areas where the public gather in large numbers, i.e. popular bathing beaches. The zones will evolve from a treaty that 13 Mediterranean countries and the European Economic Community (EEC) approved in Geneva on Saturday (3 April). The approval was a major result of a five-day debate which the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had organised. The treaty, signed the same day, will expand the number of marine parks, reserves and other protected zones from the existing figure of 15. The eight countries which signed the treaty -- normally this doesn't have to be done straight away -- were France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Monaco, Greece, Tunisia and Israel. UNEP's Deputy Executive Director, Peter Thacher, said the approval and signing were "a success for the Mediterranean and for the United Nations." The treaty was the fifth of its kind the Mediterranean countries have signed in the last six years.