Key Protocols Enter into Force for Mediterranean Action Plan

24 March 2011: The Secretariat of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) for the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (the Barcelona Convention) has announced that two legal instruments for environmental protection in the Mediterranean entered into force on 24 March 2011: the Offshore and the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Protocols of the Barcelona Convention.

Maria Luisa Silva Mejias, UNEP/MAP/Barcelona Convention Executive Secretary and Coordinator, said the entry into force of the two Protocols provides the Mediterranean region with unique and powerful legal instruments to prevent and respond to environmental threats linked to offshore platforms and coastal degradation.

The Offshore Protocol aims to establish an effective management system to protect the Mediterranean Sea from pollution resulting from exploration and exploitation of the continental shelf, the seabed and its subsoil, and to organize mutual assistance in cases of emergency.

The ICZM Protocol seeks to serve as a tool for sustainable coastal development, by providing an effective way to ensure that human actions are undertaken with a concern for balancing economic, social, and environmental goals and priorities in a long-term perspective. [UNEP/MAP News]