Technical guidelines

As part of the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, the Contracting Parties adopt programmes and measures which contain, where appropriate, time limits for their completion and utilize the best available techniques and best environmental practices. In this endeavor, the application of, access to and transfer of environmentally sound technology, including clean production technologies, taking into account the social, economic and technological conditions of the Contracting Parties, constitute overarching considerations.

MAP underpins the implementation of the aforementioned programmes and measures through the development of technical guidelines, including criteria and procedures, addressing specific aspects and technical issues.

The following provides a non-exhaustive list of technical guidelines developed by MAP system and categorized by theme.

Guidelines developed under the Protocols of the Barcelona Convention


Land-based Sources and Activities


Overarching guidelines

  • NAP Guidelines (2)
  • Guidance on cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis (1)
  • Approaches to estimating the costs for the Regional Plans/ legally binding measures adopted by the Contracting Parties (1)
  • NBB Guidelines (2)
  • Common hotspot and sensitive areas assessment criteria (2)


Sectoral technical guidelines

Urban Environment:

Guidelines for sewage and solid waste collection, treatment and disposal including:

  • 6 guidelines municipal wastewater
  • 2 guidelines in marine litter management including regional guidelines addressing key marine litter prevention and reduction measures (Adopt-a-Beach)

Industrial Development:

  • 12 guidelines for industrial wastewater, application of BAT and BEP for management of pollutants such as BOD, PCB, hazardous wastes, organometallic and organohalogen compounds and key industrial sectors
  • Updated PRTR Guidelines

Physical alternations and destruction of habitats

  • Good agricultural practices
  • Guidance on preservation of habitats
  • Guidelines on desalination


Latest Guidelines

  • Guidelines: Adopt-a-Beach; Phase-out of Single Use Plastic Bags; Provision of Reception Facilities in Ports and the Delivery of Ship-Generated Wastes; Application of Charges at Reasonable Costs for the Use of Port Reception Facilities (COP21 2019 - Decision IG.24/11)
  • Updated guidelines on the management of desalination activities (COP20 2017 - Decision IG.23/13)
  • Guidelines on Best Environmental Practices (BEP) for the Environmental Sound Management (ESM) of Mercury Contaminated Sites (COP19 2016 - Decision IG.22/09)
  • Implementing the Marine Litter Regional Plan in the Mediterranean (Fishing for Litter Guidelines, Assessment Report, Baselines Values, and Reduction Targets) (COP19 2016 - Decision IG.22/10)


Pollution by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft or Incineration at Sea


Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity


Pollution from Ships and in Cases of Emergency

  • Guidelines: Adopt-a-Beach; Phase-out of Single UsePlastic Bags; Provision of Reception Facilities in Ports and the Delivery of Ship-Generated Wastes; Application of Charges at Reasonable Costs for the Use of Port Reception Facilities (COP21 2019 - Decision IG.24/11)
  • Guidelines concerning pleasure craft activities and the protection of the marine environment in the Mediterranean (COP15 2008 - Decision IG.17/09)
  • Guidelines on the decision making process for granting access to a place of refuge for ships in need of assistance (COP15 2008 - Decision IG.17/10)
  • Guidelines concerning the Exchange of Liaison Officers between the Contracting Parties in Case of Response Operations Involving Several States. Guidelines Concerning Arrangements Which Might be made With a View to Ensuring, in Case of an Accident, Liaison between the Governmental Authorities and other Interested Parties (COP9 1995)


Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoill

  • Mediterranean Offshore Guidelines and Standards: (a) Common Standards and Guidance on the Disposal of Oil and Oily Mixtures and the Use and Disposal of Drilling Fluids and Cuttings; (b) Common Standards and Guidelines for Special Restrictions or Conditions for Specially Protected Areas (SPA) within the Framework of the Mediterranean Offshore Action Plan (COP21 2019 - Decision IG.24/09)


Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal

  • "Implementation of and reporting on Guidelines for the determination of Liability and Compensation for damages resulting from pollution of the Marine Environment in the Mediterranean Sea Area" (COP16 2009 - Decision IG.19/03)
  • Guidelines for the Determination of Liability and Compensation for Damage resulting from Pollution of the Marine Environment in the Mediterranean Sea Area (COP15 2008 - Decision IG.17/04)


Integrated Coastal Areas Management


Offshore and pollution from ships


Biodiversity and Marine Protected Areas