The Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) is meant to guide the path of MAP for the protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and contribute to sustainable development of the Mediterranean Region for the period 2016-2021.
In line with the Rio+20 Outcome Document, the priorities of the MTS are intended to be "action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, universally applicable to all countries in the region, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities." They are developed to be "focused on priority areas for the achievement of sustainable development".
The priority themes reflect legal commitments and major needs at the regional and national levels, they contribute to the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) objectives and they are part of the global efforts for sustainable development. Their respective outputs are expected to be achieved through the three successive MAP biennial Programmes of Work of the 6-year period.
"A healthy Mediterranean with marine and coastal ecosystems that are productive and biologically diverse contributing to sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations".
The Ultimate Objectives are the achievement of Good Environmental Status (GES) of the Mediterranean and the contribution to sustainable development. The Strategic Themes are selected accordingly, and will be promoted under the Overarching Theme of Governance.
These themes reflect legal commitments of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and their decisions and contribute to the objectives of the MSSD, UNEP and the SDG.
This theme constitutes a prerequisite for the operation and effectiveness of the entire MTS. In the context of the MAP system, governance involves an efficient decision-making process and a results-based approach, and covers broad management issues. It also includes the review of the Mediterranean environment, knowledge, information and communication.
The overarching theme "Governance" is based on five Principles: representativeness, accountability, effectiveness, higher level of participation, and transparency.
It corresponds to the 6th MSSD objective and partly to SDG 17.
Land and Sea-Based Pollution
The core theme "Land and Sea- Based Pollution" is designed in a manner that will provide effective support to the Contracting Parties to implement the five pollution-related Protocols of the Barcelona Convention with a particular focus on legally binding commitments arising from Articles 5 and 15 of the LBS Protocol. These Protocols aim at ensuring the GES of the Mediterranean Sea and prevent pollution due to different types of land and sea-based sources. In this respect, the Regional Strategy for Prevention of and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2016-2021) has been incorporated in the MTS and a comprehensive programme for the implementation of the Offshore Protocol is also integrated.
This theme corresponds to the first MSSD objective and partly to SDG 14, and is linked to the following Strategic Objectives of pollution related Protocols of the Barcelona Convention:
Biodiversity and Ecosystems
The overall mission under this theme is to provide assistance to the Contracting Parties in meeting their obligations under Articles 4 and 10 of the Barcelona Convention, and under the "Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean" (SPA/BD Protocol), and implementing the "Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean Region" (SAP BIO), adopted by the Contracting Parties in 2003, as well as the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development (MSSD) (decision IG.19/5 "Mandates of the Components of MAP).This theme contributes to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the promotion of the Aichi targets. It corresponds to the first MSSD objective and to SDG 14. The MTS 2016-2021 sets out the following Strategic Objectives of the SPA/BD Protocol of the Barcelona Convention:
Land and sea interaction and processes
This core theme aims at supporting a better understanding and taking into account by the decision makers and planners of these natural processes such as wave action, the risks of flood, erosion, sea level rise or even tsunami and the buffer role of dunes with the view to enhance planning and managing of coastal areas.
Furthermore, it aims at supporting holistic landscape and seascape approach that incorporates all processes affecting the flux of materials, their transport, delivery, the ultimate impact on coastal ecosystems as well as the potential impacts of climate change on the vulnerable coastal fringe.
This theme corresponds to the first MSSD objective, and to SDG 14 and 15.
The MTS 2016-2021 sets out the following Strategic Objectives of ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention:
Integrated coastal zone management
This theme addresses a major challenge, related to the governance of ICZM: bringing together decision-makers, planners, scientists of different backgrounds and stakeholders, building trust and fostering partnerships and synergies, ensuring proper participatory and decision-making procedures and thus achieving consensus are key actions and prerequisites of effective implementation.
This theme corresponds to the first and partly third MSSD objectives and it is related to SDG 9, 11, 14 and 15. It is meant to assist Contracting Parties in their efforts to implement the ICZM Protocol and the respective Action Plan approved by COP 16.
The MTS 2016-2021 sets out the following Strategic Objectives for this cross-cutting theme:
Sustainable consumption and production
Sustainable Consumption and Production is a gate through which MAP will draw the interest and engagement for cooperation from the private sector, including local small, medium and big enterprises, multinationals, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, producers, retailers and sellers, for they are responsible of the production processes and bringing to market products and services, and hence are in a unique position to advance SCP in the region.
This theme corresponds to the 5th MSSD objective and to SDG 12. It also aims at assisting the Contracting Parties in their efforts to implement several Protocols of the Barcelona Convention (LBS, SPA&BD and ICZM Protocols).
The MTS sets out the following Strategic Objectives or this cross-cutting theme:
Climate change adaptation
The Mediterranean has long been identified as a "climate change hotspot" and climate change impacts in the region are becoming increasingly evident: observations over the last decades show that temperatures have risen faster than the global average and that dry spells are becoming frequent. All model projections agree on the region's future warming and drying with potential huge risks and costs to the region's economy, population centers and biodiversity.
This theme aims at assisting the Contracting Parties in their efforts to implement the ICZM Protocol of the Barcelona Convention. It corresponds to the 4th MSSD objective and partly to SDG 13.
The MTS sets out the following two Strategic Objectives: