EcAp Med

Ecosystem Approach (2012 - 2023)

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.

The EcAp MED III Project (2020-2023)

The project titled “Support to Efficient Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach-based Integrated Monitoring and Assessment of the Mediterranean Sea and Coasts and to delivery of data-based 2023 Quality Status Report in synergy with the EU MSFD” (EcAp MED III) is funded by the European Union (EU). Its overall aim is to further assist the Southern Mediterranean Contracting Parties to implement the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP), adopted in 2016, as part of the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach Roadmap and contribute to the delivery of the 2023 Quality Status Report of the Mediterranean (MED QSR). It builds on the successful implementation of the previous projects EcAp MED I (2012-2015) and EcAp MED II (2015-2019).

With an overall budget of USD 2,494,790 including an EU allocation of USD 2,200,000 and the co-financing from the Mediterranean Trust Fund (MTF) of USD 294,790, the national component of the EcAp MED III are implemented in seven beneficiary countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia. The budget allocated to PAP/RAC is 211,682 USD.

The EcAp MED III project activities are coordinated by the UNEP/MAP Coordinating Unit and co-executed by MAP Components (INFO/RAC, MED POL, PAP/RAC, SPA/RAC and Plan Bleu), in line with their respective mandates and areas of expertise. The delivery of EcAp MED III project activities is done in synergy with the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).


The EcAp MED III project aims to achieve three main objectives:

  • boost the effective implementation of the IMAP in the Mediterranean;
  • contribute to the elaboration and implementation of appropriate scales of assessment and common integrated assessment methodologies harmonized at regional and sub regional levels, for the Mediterranean Sea and Coast;
  • contribute to the delivery of a data-based 2023 MED Quality Status Report.

The project expands the current IMAP Info System to cover all IMAP Common Indicators. The EcAp MED III project also contributes to the strengthening of the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) at national and regional levels for IMAP implementation and delivery of 2023 MED QSR.

Activities of PAP/RAC

PAP/RAC is the project partner responsible for the following activities:

  1. Undertake baseline assessments for the Coast and Hydrography Cluster - CI 15 and support implementation of monitoring CI 16 namely:
  2. support to data monitoring and processing of CI 16 (coastline)
  3. develop methodology and conduct baseline assessment/status for CI15 (hydrography)
  4. prepare lessons learned
  5. Assessment criteria/thresholds/baseline values proposed/updated for the IMAP CIs included in the current IMAP Pilot Info System
  6. develop assessment criteria for the CI 16 (coastline)
  7. develop a guiding document for application at national level
  8. Support organization of regional/sub-regional expert group meetings to share experience between countries
  9. Support to CORMON meetings
  10. Collect, analyse data, prepare thematic assessment products and 2023 MED QSR including maps and graphics

The EcAp MED III project contributed to the implementation of UNEP/MAP Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) 2016-2021 and 2020-2021 Programme of Work, and is now providing an important contribution to UNEP/MAP Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) 2022-2027 and 2022-2023 Programme of Work, as well as several other COP Decisions related to the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach and IMAP. 

EcAp-Med II project (2015 - 2019)

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).

>> Mediterranean 2017 Quality Status Report

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).