The ecosystems approach (EcAp) is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. Implementation of the EcAp in the Mediterranean is the overarching principle of UN Environment/MAP and its Barcelona Convention, and is to be integrated in all of its policies and activities. Mainstreaming the ecosystem approach into the work of UN Environment/MAP is supported by two projects, both financed by the European Commission: EcAp-MED I and EcAp-MED II.
EcAp-Med I project (2012 - 2015)
The main objective of this project was to support UN Environment/MAP in implementing the Conference of Parties decisions regarding the application of ecosystem approach in the Mediterranean. The project supported implementation of core activities related to the EcAp in UNEP/MAP’s Programme of Work and in particular mobilized the capacity of the Co-ordinating Unit, the MAP components and that of its partners to implement the EcAp roadmap. The EcAp-MED I project helped to create a great ownership between the Contracting Parties for EcAp.
Full project title: Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach in the Mediterranean by the Contracting Parties in the context of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols (2012 to 2015).
EcAp-Med II project (2015 - 2018)
The overall objective of this project is to support the UN Environment/MAP Barcelona Convention and its Southern Mediterranean Contracting Parties to implement the EcAp in synergy and coherence with the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The eligible countries for the project are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, with all the other Contracting Parties invited to participate at their own cost. EcAp MED II project seeks to support these countries to implement the 7 steps of the Interactive EcAp Roadmap through assisting them in establishing new integrated monitoring and assessment programmes (IMAPs) in line with EcAp. This will enable, for the first time, a quantitative monitoring of the status of the Mediterranean Sea and coast on a regional basis, covering biodiversity and non-indigenous species, coast and hydrography, and pollution and marine litter monitoring in an interlinked manner.
One of the PAP/RAC's important tasks in EcAp MED II project is to assist with the formulation of country-specific EcAp monitoring programmes (one per each eligible country) for the Coast and Hydrography indicators. PAP/RAC organised several training courses for this purpose by building capacities of national counterparts to understand the objectives of each indicator and how to use the monitoring guidelines prepared during the EcAp MED I phase.
Full project title: Mediterranean implementation of the Ecosystem Approach, in coherence with the EU MSFD (2015 to 2018).