Description of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas in the Mediterranean

A CBD regional workshop jointly organized with the Barcelona Convention Secretariat facilitates the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) in the Mediterranean.

The Secretariats to the Barcelona Convention/Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) co-organized a Mediterranean regional workshop to facilitate the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) from 7-12 April in Malaga (Spain). The workshop was attended by over 50 representatives of 20 governments in the Mediterranean, the European Commission and experts from international institutions. It aimed to identify and describe additional EBSAs in the Mediterranean.

The EBSA process follows a CBD methodology, facilitating collaboration between scientists and governments, enhancing the current knowledge on marine biodiversity in coastal waters and open seas. It is also an important starting point for a future long-term continuous assessment as further scientific information becomes available.

The workshop was hosted by the Government of Spain and financially supported by it as well as the UNEP/MAP Mediterranean Trust Fund, the European Commission, and the Government of Monaco. With the logistical support of IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and the technical assistance of SPA/RAC, the workshop described 17 areas in the Mediterranean following EBSA criteria. These descriptions will be submitted for consideration by the 18th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice in June 2014, and the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2014.

Photo: Mohammad Ben Temessek