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The 2020 Forum of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean



A unique Forum dedicated to the sea for the benefit of the Mediterranean society


For the third time in the Mediterranean, around 250 key players involved in the marine environment will meet from 28 November to 1st December 2021 in Monaco, to share their experiences, discuss and develop a joint work programme to improve, by 2030, the protection of the Mediterranean Sea. Over 400 other participants join online in a full interactive format.


On 29 November, the opening ceremony was held at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Coming from all over the Mediterranean and beyond, representatives of national agencies, Marine Protected Area (MPA) managers , scientists, civil society organisations, local economic actors and international institutions will exchange to find solutions to the challenges faced by MPAs to effectively preserve marine ecosystems and the services they provide.

The objective of this hybrid Monaco MPA Forum event is to finalise the content of the Post 2020 Roadmap for Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas. This operational document aims to be a living and regularly evaluated blueprint that generates the buy-in of all stakeholders needed to be involved in the implementation of its recommendations. The finalisation of the Roadmap will be the start of a wide mobilisation to ensure that 30% of the Mediterranean is effectively protected by 2030.

Marine Protected Areas are slices of sea and coast placed under protection and managed because of their ecological importance. Through effective management, they protect the amazing marine life of the Mediterranean, ensuring the livelihoods of fishers, stimulate the local economy and contribute to human well-being. Marine Protected Areas are also a nature-based solution that is essential to contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change as was highlighted during the recent UN Climate Change conference COP 26 in Glasgow.

Marine Protected Areas progress in the Mediterranean but they still need a boost.

These last years, significant progress has been made in favour of the protection of the marine environment in the Mediterranean. Today, 8.33% (209,303 km2) of the Mediterranean Sea is placed under a protection status, almost all of which (97.33%) is located in European Union member countries. However, many sites are not managed and do not have sufficient regulation and resources to preserve them adequately and generate benefits for the marine environment and sustain the livelihoods of local communities. In the post-2020 era, the international community is calling to place 30% of the seas under protection by 2030. Considering the high pressures exerted on the Mediterranean marine environment with growing trends, it is crystal clear that willingness to invest in marine conservation needs to be boosted. The Forum intends to support this effort. A poster presented during the Forum, gives an overview of the current state of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean in 2021. The full report will be published in mid2022.


A roadmap to achieve by 2030 the upcoming international goals of the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Barcelona Convention.

This Post-2020 Roadmap for Mediterranean MPAs is in line with international commitments, and especially the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework under finalisation. The Post 2020 Mediterranean MPA Roadmap (and the Forum process in general) allows the actors at different levels to identify priority actions and coordination mechanisms in order to boost the implementation of international MPA objectives in the Mediterranean, and in particular supports the Post-2020 Regional Strategy for Marine and Coastal Protected Areas (MCPAs) and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) of the Barcelona Convention to be adopted by the Barcelona Convention COP 22 (7-10 December 2021). The Post-2020 Mediterranean MPA Roadmap process will set up an implementation mechanism follow-up and evaluation process with key indicators to be monitored.

Two previous editions of this unique Forum process already took place in relation with the 2020 MPA targets. In 2012 in Antalya, Turkey, where the first Roadmap was developed, and in 2016 in Tangier, Morocco, where the Roadmap for Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) was evaluated and updated to boost the implementation by 2020 of the CBD Aichi Target 11 / Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

The 2020 Forum of Marine Protected Areas is co-organised by the Network of Marine Protected Areas Managers in the Mediterranean (MedPAN), the Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC) of the Barcelona Convention, WWF Mediterranean, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, in partnership with many national and international organisations.

Marine Protected Areas are everyone’s business!


Editor’s note :

Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution (Barcelona Convention), was adopted in 1976, came into force in 1978, and was amended in 1995. Since 1990, the MedPAN network has brought together the managers of Mediterranean MPAs and has supported them in their management activities. A legally independent structure since 2008, MedPAN aims to promote the establishment, the operation and the sustainability of a Mediterranean network of MPAs. The MedPAN association today gathers 78 members (MPA managers) and 50 partners (with activities linked to MPA management) from 21 Mediterranean countries.


The Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC) was established in Tunis in 1985 by decision of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, which entrusted it with responsibility for assessing the situation of natural heritage and assisting the Mediterranean countries to implement the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (SPA/BD Protocol), which came into force in 1999.


WWF is an independent conservation organisation, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.