The Barcelona Convention and its Protocols

The Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution (Barcelona Convention) was adopted on 16 February 1976 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Coastal States of the Mediterranean Region for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea, held in Barcelona, in conjunction with two Protocols addressing the prevention of pollution by dumping from ships and aircraft and cooperation in combating pollution in cases of emergency.

These three legal instruments came into force on 12 February 1978. The convention also made provisions for additional legal instruments to be adopted and was soon complemented by the Protocol on Pollution from Land-Based Sources (1980), the Protocol concerning Specifically Protected Areas (1982), and the Offshore Protocol (1994).

In 1995, the Contracting Parties adopted substantive Amendments to the Barcelona Convention of 1976, renamed the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean, and which entered into force in 2004.