16 Aug 2017 Speech Oceans & seas

Success story: Mediterranean

The 2016-2025 Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development

  • For the past four decades, the Mediterranean Action Plan and its Barcelona Convention have delivered collaboration and dialogue and spurred much progress. All this in a region characterized by opportunities, solid conditions for partnership and creativity, wealth of knowledge and resources, but also tension and inequality.
  • Today the Mediterranean Action Plan represents one of the most advanced legal regimes worldwide for the protection of the marine and coastal environment based on the application of the ecosystem approach and with an ambitious sustainable development dimension. Through the Text of the Convention, seven protocols and a large body of decisions, as well as action through programmes and projects.
  • In February last year, only weeks after the approval of the 2030 Agenda, the 2016-2025 Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development was adopted by the Parties of the Barcelona Convention. This is a strategic guiding document for all stakeholders and partners to translate the global agenda and goals at the regional, sub-regional and national levels. It follows a structure tailored on Mediterranean pressures and needs, with six objectives that lie in the interface between environment and development, and an integrated approach to sustainability issues.
  • The timing of its development, through a broad and inclusive consultation process that involved more than 1,000 participants all over the Mediterranean, presented us with a difficult challenge but also a unique opportunity. The Mediterranean Strategy was informed by the global process and is fully consistent with the SDGs.
  • The participation and active role of Governments and stakeholders and the synergy with other regional initiatives play a decisive role for the successful delivery of the Mediterranean Strategy. Its national implementation is closely linked and contributes to the achievement of SDG targets at national level. The implementation is facilitated and monitored by tools such as a Simplified Peer Review Mechanism that we are now launching in three Mediterranean countries, the development of indicators for a Mediterranean Sustainable Development Dashboard that are derived from the SDG indicators, and a number of Flagship initiatives.
  • We believe that along with the institutional and regulatory framework offered by the Barcelona Convention and in the global context assured by UN Environment and the 2030 Agenda, the Mediterranean Strategy and in general or work show great relevance and the effective stimulus of the regional dimension for the achievement of SDG14 and the other SDGs.


The MSSD 2016-2025 follows a structure based on six objectives that lie in the interface between environment and development. They were chosen to provide scope for an integrated approach to address sustainability issues. The first three objectives of the Strategy reflect a territorial approach, while the other objectives are cross-cutting, addressing key policies and areas, as follows:

  1. Ensuring sustainable development in marine and coastal areas;
  2. Promoting resource management, food production and food security through sustainable forms of rural development;
  3. Planning and managing sustainable Mediterranean cities;
  4. Addressing climate change as a priority issue for the Mediterranean;
  5. Transition towards a green and blue economy;
  6. Improving governance in support of sustainable development;

A set of Strategic directions is formulated for each of the six overall objectives. The Strategic directions are complemented by national and regional Actions, as well as Flagship initiatives and Targets.


(Speech made by Mr. Gaetano Leone, MAP)