In 1975, 16 Mediterranean countries and the European Community adopted the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), the first-ever Regional Seas Programme under UNEP's umbrella.
In 1995, the Action Plan for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Sustainable Development of the Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean (MAP Phase II) was adopted by the Contracting Parties to replace the Mediterranean Action Plan of 1975.
Today, the Barcelona Convention and MAP are more active than ever. The Contracting Parties are now 22*, and they are determined to protect the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment while boosting regional and national plans to achieve sustainable development.
* Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, the European Community, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey
The Convention's main objectives are:
The Barcelona Convention has given rise to seven Protocols addressing specific aspects of Mediterranean environmental conservation:
The Contracting Parties decide on MAP strategies, budget and programme in pursuit of MAP’s goal at their Ministerial level meetings, held every two years. They appoint Focal Points to review the progress of work and ensure the implementation of recommendations at the national level. A rotating Bureau of six representatives of the Contracting Parties guides and advises the MAP Secretariat (located in Athens) in the interim period between the biannual meetings.
MAP’s activities are primarily financed by the Contracting Parties through their contributions to the Mediterranean Trust Fund. Other main sources of funding to support specific projects and activities include voluntary contributions from the European Union, UN agencies, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Key MAP priorities for the coming decade are:
Euro-Mediterranean governments aim to tackle the top sources of Mediterranean pollution by the year 2020 through the Horizon 2020 initiative that is built around 4 elements:
The initiative is open to all stakeholders and calls for the mobilisation of the necessary financial resources and the provision of technical support from all partners. All stakeholders are invited to work together to maximise assistance, exploit opportunities and meet the commitments of the timetable.
Further information can be found here.
On 10 June 2013 the EU adopted a Directive on safety of offshore oil and gas operations.
Annex II: Overview of current and future offshore activities
Annex III: Comparative analysis between the Offshore Protocol and the EU draft Regulation
More detailed information about this project: offshore activities in the Mediterranean.
In the framework of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement (SCA) between the European Commission and UNEP, a follow up project is being carried out.
Under the same Agreement, UNEP/MAP has been awarded the overall coordination of the SWITCH Med policy programme to assist southern Mediterranean countries to further develop and implement sustainable patterns of consumption and production.