The Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) is meant to guide the path of MAP for the protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and contribute to sustainable development of the Mediterranean Region for the period 2016-2021.
In line with the Rio+20 Outcome Document, the priorities of the MTS are intended to be "action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, universally applicable to all countries in the region, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities." They are developed to be "focused on priority areas for the achievement of sustainable development".
The priority themes reflect legal commitments and major needs at the regional and national levels, they contribute to the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) objectives and they are part of the global efforts for sustainable development. Their respective outputs are expected to be achieved through the three successive MAP biennial Programmes of Work of the 6-year period.
Vision of the MTS
"A healthy Mediterranean with marine and coastal ecosystems that are productive and biologically diverse contributing to sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations".
The Ultimate Objectives are the achievement of Good Environmental Status (GES) of the Mediterranean and the contribution to sustainable development. The Strategic Themes are selected accordingly, and will be promoted under the Overarching Theme of Governance.
These themes reflect legal commitments of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and their decisions and contribute to the objectives of the MSSD, UNEP and the SDG.
This theme constitutes a prerequisite for the operation and effectiveness of the entire MTS. In the context of the MAP system, governance involves an efficient decision-making process and a results-based approach, and covers broad management issues. It also includes the review of the Mediterranean environment, knowledge, information and communication.
The overarching theme "Governance" is based on five Principles: representativeness, accountability, effectiveness, higher level of participation, and transparency.
It corresponds to the 6th MSSD objective and partly to SDG 17.
Land and Sea-Based Pollution
The core theme "Land and Sea- Based Pollution" is designed in a manner that will provide effective support to the Contracting Parties to implement the five pollution-related Protocols of the Barcelona Convention with a particular focus on legally binding commitments arising from Articles 5 and 15 of the LBS Protocol. These Protocols aim at ensuring the GES of the Mediterranean Sea and prevent pollution due to different types of land and sea-based sources. In this respect, the Regional Strategy for Prevention of and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2016-2021) has been incorporated in the MTS and a comprehensive programme for the implementation of the Offshore Protocol is also integrated.
This theme corresponds to the first MSSD objective and partly to SDG 14, and is linked to the following Strategic Objectives of pollution related Protocols of the Barcelona Convention:
- To eliminate to the extent possible, prevent, reduce and control selected/regulated pollutant inputs, oil discharges and spills;
- To prevent, reduce and control marine litter generation and its impact on the coastal and marine environment.
Biodiversity and Ecosystems
The overall mission under this theme is to provide assistance to the Contracting Parties in meeting their obligations under Articles 4 and 10 of the Barcelona Convention, and under the "Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean" (SPA/BD Protocol), and implementing the "Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean Region" (SAP BIO), adopted by the Contracting Parties in 2003, as well as the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development (MSSD).This theme contributes to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the promotion of the Aichi targets. It corresponds to the first MSSD objective and to SDG 14.
The MTS 2016-2021 sets out the following Strategic Objectives of the SPA/BD Protocol of the Barcelona Convention:
- To protect, preserve and manage in a sustainable and environmentally sound way areas of particular natural or cultural value notably by the establishment of specially protected areas;
- To protect, preserve and manage threatened or endangered species of flora and fauna.
Land and sea interaction and processes
This core theme aims at supporting a better understanding and taking into account by the decision makers and planners of these natural processes such as wave action, the risks of flood, erosion, sea level rise or even tsunami and the buffer role of dunes with the view to enhance planning and managing of coastal areas.
Furthermore, it aims at supporting holistic landscape and seascape approach that incorporates all processes affecting the flux of materials, their transport, delivery, the ultimate impact on coastal ecosystems as well as the potential impacts of climate change on the vulnerable coastal fringe.
This theme corresponds to the first MSSD objective, and to SDG 14 and 15.
The MTS 2016-2021 sets out the following Strategic Objectives of ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention:
- To reduce anthropogenic pressure on coastal and marine areas in order to prevent or reduce their degradation;
- To ensure preservation of the integrity of coastal ecosystems, landscapes and geomorphology;
- To adopt measures to prevent and/or reduce the effects of natural hazards and in particular of climate change;
- To ensure that activities on the land and the sea part of the coastal zones are compatible and mutually supportive
Integrated coastal zone management
This theme addresses a major challenge, related to the governance of ICZM: bringing together decision-makers, planners, scientists of different backgrounds and stakeholders, building trust and fostering partnerships and synergies, ensuring proper participatory and decision-making procedures and thus achieving consensus are key actions and prerequisites of effective implementation.
This theme corresponds to the first and partly third MSSD objectives and it is related to SDG 9, 11, 14 and 15. It is meant to assist Contracting Parties in their efforts to implement the ICZM Protocol and the respective Action Plan approved by COP 16.
The MTS 2016-2021 sets out the following Strategic Objectives for this cross-cutting theme:
- The sustainable development of coastal zones is facilitated by ensuring that the environment and landscapes are taken into account in harmony with economic, social and cultural development;
- The sustainable use of natural resources is ensured, particularly with regard to water use;
- The coherence is achieved between public and private initiatives and between all decisions by the public authorities, at the national, regional and local levels, which affect the use of the coastal zone.
- To promote planning mechanisms that will contribute to reducing the generation of pollution in coastal zones.
- To ensure sustainable use of natural resources, in particular water, in order to prevent their pollution and degradation.
- To promote planning and management mechanisms ensuring that economic, social and cultural development is in harmony with natural environment and landscape
- To reduce anthropogenic pressure on coastal and marine ecosystems in order to prevent or reduce their degradation and to maintain their contribution to climate change adaptation
- To facilitate sustainable development of coastal and marine areas by ensuring planning mechanisms that address both natural processes and anthropogenic pressure impacting on them.
- To promote governance mechanisms that ensure coherence between public and private initiatives and between all decisions by the public authorities, at the national, regional and local levels, which affect the use of the coastal zone.
Sustainable consumption and production
Sustainable Consumption and Production is a gate through which MAP will draw the interest and engagement for cooperation from the private sector, including local small, medium and big enterprises, multinationals, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, producers, retailers and sellers, for they are responsible of the production processes and bringing to market products and services, and hence are in a unique position to advance SCP in the region.
This theme corresponds to the 5th MSSD objective and to SDG 12. It also aims at assisting the Contracting Parties in their efforts to implement several Protocols of the Barcelona Convention (LBS, SPA/BD and ICZM Protocols).
The MTS sets out the following Strategic Objectives or this cross-cutting theme:
- To establish prosperous Mediterranean region is established, with non-pollutant, circular, socially inclusive economies based on sustainable consumption and production patterns, securing the sustainable management of natural resources and energy, ensuring the well-being of societies and contributing to clean environment and healthy ecosystems that provide goods and services for present and future generations;
- To support the effective implementation of the SCP Action Plan and its roadmap;
- To strengthen technical capacities of businesses, entrepreneurs, financing agents, and civil society implement SCP solutions;
- To promote SCP in key economic sectors and lifestyles which are upstream drivers of chemicals and marine litter;
- To strengthen technical capacities of businesses, entrepreneurs, financing agents, and civil society implement SCP solutions reducing toxic chemicals and marine litter;
- To provide innovative services and products contributing to the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems;
- To strengthen technical capacities of businesses, entrepreneurs, financing agents, and civil societyto implement SCP solutions contributing to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems;
- To reduce the pressure of human activities in coastal and marine areas through the implementation of SCP tools.
Climate change adaptation
The Mediterranean has long been identified as a "climate change hotspot" and climate change impacts in the region are becoming increasingly evident: observations over the last decades show that temperatures have risen faster than the global average and that dry spells are becoming frequent. All model projections agree on the region's future warming and drying with potential huge risks and costs to the region's economy, population centers and biodiversity.
This theme aims at assisting the Contracting Parties in their efforts to implement the ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention. It corresponds to the 4th MSSD objective and partly to SDG 13.
The MTS sets out the following two Strategic Objectives:
- To strengthen the resilience of the Mediterranean natural and socioeconomic systems to climate change by promoting integrated adaptation approaches and better understanding of impacts;
- To reduce anthropogenic pressure on coastal and marine to maintain their contribution to climate change adaptation.