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United Nations Environment Programme

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a programme of the United Nations which coordinates the organization's environmental activities, assisting developing countries to implement environmentally sound policies and practices. 

The Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) is a regional cooperative effort involving 21 countries who border the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the European Union. Through the MAP, these Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols are determined to meet the challenges of protecting the marine and coastal environment, while boosting regional and national plans to achieve sustainable development.

Contracting Parties

 The 22 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention are:

Mediterranean Action Plan

In 1975 the Mediterranean countries and the European Community adopted the MAP to monitor and protect the Mediterranean marine environment from pollution threats, and to ensure the integrated development of the natural basin’s resources on the basis of multilateral cooperation. The Mediterranean was the first region to adopt an Action Plan under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Seas Programme.  Twenty years later MAP then evolved into its second phase (MAP Phase II), assessing the achievements and shortcomings of MAP's first years of existence, as well as the results of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro 1992).

MAP Barcelona Convention

Coordinating Unit

The Secretariat’s functions of the MAP are assigned to UNEP who then established a Coordinating Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan, hosted by Greece in Athens.

The overall mandate of the Coordinating Unit, as provided for in Decision IG.17/ 5: Governance paper, is to promote and put into effect the Barcelona Convention’s relevant Protocols and Strategies, and the Decisions and Recommendations of the Contracting Parties. It ensures the good functioning of the MAP system, develops and implements the Programme of Work, and supports the Contracting Parties in meeting their commitments under the Convention. The Coordinating Unit organizes and provides the secretariat services for the meetings of bodies established within the MAP framework. It represents the Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention at international and regional levels and ensures high-level policy and political dialogue with external parties.

The Coordinating Unit also ensures the functionality of the Reporting System and the Compliance Mechanism of the Barcelona Convention and Protocols, and is entrusted to regularly report on the State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean.

In implementing its Programme of Work, the Coordinating Unit receives the technical support and assistance of the MAP Components in accordance with their individual mandates, and with specific decisions of the Contracting Parties.

Regional Activity Centers


  1. UN Environment/MAP Coordinating Unit- Greece
  2. MED POL Programme for the Assessment and Control of Marine Pollution in the Mediterranean – Greece
  3. REMPEC Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea – Malta
  4. PB/RAC Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre – France
  5. PAP/RAC Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre – Croatia
  6. SPA/RAC Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre – Tunisia
  7. SCP/RAC Sustainable Consumption and Production Regional Activity Centre – Spain
  8. INFO/RAC Information and Communication Regional Activity Centre - Italy

The MAP Components are composed of:

The Mediterranean Pollution Assessment and Control Programme (MED POL)

MED POL’s prime objectives involve working to prevent and eliminate land-based pollution of the Mediterranean. MED POL assists the Contracting Parties through planning and coordinating initiatives and actions, promoting and initiating synergies and investment programmes, supporting them to meet their obligations under the Barcelona Convention and the Dumping, LBS and the Hazardous Wastes Protocols. MED POL also facilitates the implementation of National Action Plans to address land-based pollution and LBS-related legally binding programmes and action plans, continuously assessing the status and trends of pollution of the Mediterranean, working to achieve Good Environmental Status related to ecological objectives on marine pollution, including litter and noise

 MED POL is based in Athens, Greece

REMPEC LOGO JPGThe Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC)

REMPEC’s objectives are to prevent and reduce pollution from ships and to swiftly combat marine pollution spills. REMPEC helps Contracting Parties meet obligations to the Barcelona Convention and the Prevention and Emergency Protocol by facilitating the implementation of a Regional Strategy for the Prevention of and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships. Ensuring the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) targets are adhered to.

The Centre assists Contracting Parties who need to mobilize regional or international assistance in emergency cases under the Offshore Protocol.

 REMPEC is based in Valletta, Malta 

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The Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre (PB/RAC)

The Plan Bleu/RAC’s objectives are to raise awareness of Mediterranean stakeholders and decision makers involved in  environmental and sustainable development issues, providing future scenarios that will assist in their decision-making

Through its dual function as an observatory of the environment and sustainable development, and as a centre for systemic and prospective analysis, PB/RAC provides the Contracting Parties with information on the state of the environment and development of the Mediterranean, and is a solid basis of environmental and sustainable development data, statistics and indicators, supporting future action and decision making processes.

PB/RAC’s activities are consistent with the needs and priorities of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) and facilitate its implementation and follow-up.

Plan Bleu is based in Sophia Antipolis, France


The Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC)

The specific objective of PAP/RAC is to contribute to sustainable development of coastal zones and sustainable use of their natural resources. PAP/RAC assists Mediterranean countries in implementing the Barcelona Convention, meeting their obligations under the ICZM Protocol and in achieving the MSSD.

PAP/RAC is based in Split, Croatia 


The Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC)

The specific objective of SPA/RAC is to contribute to the protection, preservation and sustainable management of marine and coastal areas of particular natural and cultural value, and threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna.

SPA/RAC assist the Contracting Parties to achieve their obligations under the Barcelona Convention, and under the Specially Protected Areas and Biodiversity Protocol ; implementing the Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Region (SAP BIO) as well as the MSSD.

SPA/RAC is based in Tunis, Tunisia


The Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC)

The objective of SCP/RAC is to support pollution prevention whilst working to achieve sustainable and efficient management of services, products and resources based on the Sustainable Consumption and Production integrated approach adopted by UNEP.

SCP/RAC assist the Contracting Parties in implementing the Barcelona Convention, the LBS Protocol, the Hazardous Waste Protocol, and the Offshore Protocol, where sustainable production and consumption play a crucial role.  Mindful of all of these Protocols, the shift to sustainable consumption and production is key for them to attain their objectives. SCP/RAC also advises Contracting Parties in promoting and using relevant mechanisms.

SCP/RAC is based in Barcelona, Spain 


The Regional Activity Centre for Information and Communication (INFO/RAC)

INFO/RAC’s objective is to maintain, collect and share information, raise public awareness and through this participation enhance decision-making processes at regional, national and local levels. In this context, the mission of INFO/RAC is to provide adequate information and communication services and infrastructure technologies for Contracting Parties to implement the Barcelona Convention’s Article 12 on public participation, and Article 26 on reporting, as well as several articles related to reporting requirements under the different Protocols, strengthening MAP information management and communication capabilities. Striving to ensure availability of coherent and scientifically sound environmental knowledge, INFO/RAC co-operate closely with other key environmental institutions and international bodies working on environmental data and information management, to progressively move towards a Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS).

INFO/RAC is based in Rome, Italy

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published on 2019/12/13 11:54:00 GMT+0 last modified 2020-05-11T09:11:36+00:00