Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP)

25 October 2012 | Article



Initiated in 1975 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the aim of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) [1] is to pursue a policy addressing pollution of the marine environment at Mediterranean level. To date, the bordering States, initially numbering eighteen, have initially entrusted the MAP with setting up research and scientific control activities, and carrying out socio-economic studies. For this purpose, the MAP created in particular a framework for regional consultation and decision-making which has helped States to define a common approach and take action locally in environmental matters. 35 years on, the Barcelona Convention and the MAP are more active than ever. Today, the MAP unites the European Union and 21 countries around the Mediterranean.

In 1995, the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention adopted the Action Plan for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Sustainable Development of the Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean (MAP Phase II), which replaced the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of 1975.

The Contracting Parties determine strategies, vote the budget and the programme targetting the goals of the MAP in meetings held every two years at ministerial level. They designate Focal Points which monitor the progress achieved by various undertakings and ensure that recommendations are implemented at national level. A Bureau, elected by rotation and composed of six members, guides and advises the MAP Secretariat in the intervals between the 2-yearly meetings.

MAP Coordinating Unit [2]

Domiciled in Athens since 1982, this body is entrusted with the executive Secretariat of the Barcelona Convention and its 7 technical protocols.

The MAP Coordinating Unit (MED Unit) plays a diplomatic, political and communication role by supervising the main components of the MAP (RACs) and organizing major meetings and programmes.

The Unit is responsible for implementing the Protocols on "Land-based Sources", "Dumping" and "Hazardous Wastes" (cf. Technical Protocols of the Barcelona Convention).

Regional Activity Centres (RAC)

The regional Mediterranean system is composed, on the one hand, of the Barcelona Convention, which provides a framework for general principles, and, on the other hand, of technical protocols which apply these principles.

In order to administer these protocols, the MAP has set up six (6) Regional Activity Centres [3] (RACs) which handle scientific issues.

The Regional Activity Centres managed by the MAP are:

— Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) [4], based in Malta.

— Blue Plan Regional Activity Centre (BP/RAC) [5], based in Sophia Antipolis, France.

— Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC) [6], based in Split, Croatia.

— Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC) [7], based in Tunis, Tunisia.

— Cleaner Production Regional Activity Centre (CP/RAC) [8], based in Barcelona, Spain.

— Information and Communication Regional Activity Centre (INFO/RAC) [9], based in Italy.










Mediterranean landscape