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Summary of Treaty

Official Title Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean
Type of Agreement Multilateral
Usual Title SPA and Biodiversity Protocol
Place of Signature Barcelona
Date of Signature 10/06/1995
Date of Entry Into Force 12/12/1999
Duration Indefinite
Objective of Agreement By means of enhanced international cooperation to protect and improve the state of the natural and cultural heritage of the Mediterranean through the establishment of specially protected areas and the protection and conservation of threatened species, and to restore the health and integrity of ecosystems. The parties to the Protocol are to cooperate directly or through international organisations for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, identify its components and adopt sectoral programmes.
Remarks This Protocol replaces the Protocol concerning specially protected areas in the Mediterranean, to which the Community acceded in 1984, devoted to protect natural resources in the Mediterranean region, preserve the diversity of the gene pool and protect certain natural sites by creating a series of specially preserved areas. Council Decision 1999/800/EC allowed the Community to accede to the new Protocol, signed in 1995, concerning specially protected areas and biological diversity in the Mediterranean. The new Protocol makes the distinction between specially protected areas (already provided for in the former Protocol) and specially protected areas of Mediterranean importance. It stipulates that the Parties develop guidelines for establishing and managing protected areas and lists a certain number of appropriate measures which the Parties must adopt in order to ensure the identified areas are protected. These measures include: prohibiting the discharge or unloading of waste, regulating shipping operations, regulating the introduction of any non-indigenous or genetically modified species, and any other measures protecting the ecological and biological processes and the countryside. Furthermore, it introduces national or local measures which the Parties must take in order to protect animal and plant species throughout the Mediterranean area. The Protocol also provides for exemptions to be granted because of traditional activities carried out by local populations. However, these exemptions must not compromise the preservation of the protected ecosystems, nor the biological processes making up these ecosystems, nor must they cause the extinction or a substantial fall in numbers of any species or animal or plant populations included within the protected ecosystems. The annexes to the new Protocol include a list of common criteria which the Parties must respect when choosing which marine and coastal areas are to be protected under the system of specially protected areas of Mediterranean importance. The annexes also list threatened or endangered species as well as including a list of species whose exploitation is regulated.
OJ Reference L322, 14/12/1999, p. 3
Depositary Spain
Contracting Parties European Community, Albania, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey
Authentic Texts Arabic, English, French, Spanish
Subject Matters Environment
Other Links
Date of Signature 10/06/1995
Conclusion Date 12/11/1999
Ratification Status AC
Conclusion Decision Council Decision of 22 October 1999 on concluding the Protocol concerning specially protected areas and biological diversity in the Mediterranean, and on accepting the annexes to that Protocol (Barcelona Convention); OJ L322 of 14/12/1999, p.1
Date of Entry Into Force 12/12/1999
Competence Mixed
Legal Basis Treaty EC: Article 175

Last Update :   29/02/2008