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The MAP is a regional cooperative effort involving the 22 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention: 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey), as well as the European Union.

The 22 MAP members decide on the MAP strategies, budget and programme. They meet every two years at Ministerial level to review and deliberate on general policy and on strategic and political issues relevant to their cooperation. They also determine the MAP's work programme and budget for the following biennium.

MAP Focal Points are senior officials appointed by MAP member countries to be responsible for the follow-up and coordination of MAP activities, both at regional and national level. These official representatives of the Contracting Parties delegate other Focal Points (sectoral) to focus on key MAP issues. MAP Focal Points meet every two years to review the progress of the Mediterranean Action Plan, as well as to agree on the recommendations, programme and budget for the following biennium, which are submitted to the meeting of the Contracting Parties for final approval.

A rotating Bureau of six representatives of the Contracting Parties elected at each Contracting Parties meeting, guides and advises the MAP Secretariat in the interim period between meetings. The Bureau meets twice a year. Current members are: Egypt, European Community, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

The Athens-based MAP Coordinating Unit (MEDU) is the Secretariat of the Mediterranean Action Plan. It is responsible for the follow-up and implementation of the MAP legal documents and activities. It performs diplomatic, political and communications roles, supervising the main MAP components, such as the Regional Activity Centres. It also undertakes all Secretariat duties, including the organisation of major meetings and programmes and the financial management.

The Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD), set up as an advisory body to MAP in 1996, with a unique structure, is a think-tank on policies for promoting sustainable development in the Mediterranean Basin. The MCSD prepared of the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development (MSSD) that was adopted at the 14th meeting of the Contracting Parties in November 2005.

The Programme for the Assessment and Control of Pollution in the Mediterranean Region (MED POL) represents a key tool for the reduction of land-based pollution. Set up in 1975 to respond to the specific needs to better assess, qualify and quantify the marine environment, MED POL has gradually shifted its focus over the last decade towards the effective reduction of marine pollution from land-based sources and the integration of its activities as a key tool to sustainable development in the region.

There are six MAP Regional Activity Centres (RACs) based in six Mediterranean cities, each offering expertise in specific fields of action:

Blue Plan Regional Activity Centre (BP/RAC): It adopts a systemic and prospective approach to Mediterranean environment and development issues using observation and evaluation tools and generating indicators.

Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC): It concerns itself with integrated coastal area management to alleviate development problems in built up coastal areas.

Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC): It focuses on biodiversity and is involved in the protection of Mediterranean species, their habitats and ecosystems.

Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC): It helps Mediterranean coastal states build up their national prevention and response capabilities to be prepared for major marine pollution incidents.

Environment Remote Sensing Regional Activity Centre (ERS/RAC): It supports planning and decision-making processes related to marine and coastal areas pollution problems and remedies, through the utilisation of satellite technology, as well as capacity building related activities.

Cleaner Production Regional Activity Centre (CP/RAC): It promotes the reduction of industrial waste at source of the Mediterranean industrial sector and disseminates tried-and-tested cleaner production techniques.


Close links have been forged with other UN agencies, the World Bank, the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme (METAP), the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Regionand  Europe (CEDARE) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) .

5th Mediterranean Water Forum