A new political impetus for further protection of the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea’s marine biodiversity and ecosystems are some of the most vulnerable in the world. A global approach is required, one that is focused on protecting biodiversity and also on overfishing, marine pollution and shipping.

The Coalition for an Exemplary Mediterranean in 2030 aims to rekindle regional cooperation on the protection of marine biodiversity and to contribute to discussions in multilateral and regional organizations dedicated to the environment and fisheries management.

This initiative is based on an action plan entitled “The Mediterranean: a model sea by 2030” which addresses four themes: (1) preserving marine biodiversity, (2) reducing the impact of fishing, (3) combating marine pollution (especially plastic), (4) sustainable shipping. These themes are in turn broken down into 19 operational actions to which coalition members commit.

A first version of the action plan was produced by France, Monaco and Spain at the One Planet Summit in January 2021. After consultation, a consolidated version was presented to the various regional organizations in the Mediterranean (Union for the Mediterranean, Barcelona Convention, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, MedThink 5+5, WestMED). The plan should be finalized in 2021.

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The MEDFUND for marine protected areas

The MedFund is a fund that aims to improve the management of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean. The returns generated by the financial investments are used to provide grants to NGOs and national MPA management authorities in various Mediterranean countries (at this stage 2 in Morocco, 4 in Tunisia and 2 in Turkey).

Barely 7.4% of the Mediterranean basin is covered by marine protected areas. We should aim at reaching 30% coverage by 2030.

Some 62.5% of evaluated fish stocks in the Mediterranean are considered to be overfished. Restoring all fish stocks by 2030 is possible.

Each year, 600,000 tonnes of waste is dumped into the Mediterranean. Ending single-use plastic pollution is a priority.

The Mediterranean is warming 20% faster than the rest of the planet. The impact of shipping on climate warming in the Mediterranean must be reduced.


 

Find out more

This initiative relies on a process of informal consultation among several governments and various regional organizations in the Mediterranean, acting on the initiative of France, Monaco and Spain.

Details of governance and monitoring procedures will be provided in the coming months.