Legal Framework

Barcelona convention and its protocols

The Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution (Barcelona Convention) was adopted on 16 February 1976 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries of the Coastal States of the Mediterranean Region for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea, held in Barcelona, in conjunction with two Protocols addressing the prevention of pollution by dumping from ships and aircraft and cooperation in combating pollution in cases of emergency.

These three legal instruments entered into force on the 12th of February 1978. The convention also made provisions for additional legal instruments to be adopted and was soon complemented by the Protocol on pollution from land based sources (1980), the Protocol concerning Specifically Protected Areas (1982), and the Offshore Protocol (1994).

In 1995, the Contracting Parties adopted substantive Amendments to the Barcelona Convention of 1976, renamed Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean, and which entered into force in 2004. .

The Protocols

Seven Protocols addressing specific aspects of Mediterranean environmental conservation complete the MAP legal framework:

Dumping Protocol

The Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea by Dumping from Ships and Aircraft (adopted in 1976, amended in 1995 – amendments not yet in force)

Hazardous Wastes Protocol

The Protocol on the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (adopted in 1996), entered into force in 2011

ICZM Protocol

The Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean (adopted in 2008)

Integrated Coastal Zone Management Action Plan

LBS Protocol (including Regional plans under art. 15 of LBS) entered into force in 2011

The Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (adopted in 1980, amended in 1996), amendment entered into force in 2008

Regional Plans adopted in the framework of the LBS Protocol on the reduction or elimination of substances or their inputs:

Marine litter regional plan in the Mediterranean

Offshore Protocol

The Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution Resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil (adopted in 1994), entered into force in 2011

Mediterranean Offshore Action Plan

Prevention and Emergency Protocol

The Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Preventing Pollution from Ships and, in Cases of Emergency, Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea (adopted 2002, replacing the related Protocol of 1976), entered into force in 2004

SPA Protocol

The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (adopted in 1995, replacing the related protocol of 1982) and Annexes (adopted in 1996, amended in 2009, 2012 and 2013)