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Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations Environment Programme/ Mediterranean Action Plan Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention and FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean
by UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan-Barcelona Convention Secretariat (UNEP/MAP) and General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean of the FAO (GFCM) (United Nations entity)
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 2012 between the GFCM and UN Environment/MAP is the first agreement that formalizes cooperation between a UN Environment Regional Sea Convention and an FAO Regional Fisheries Management Organization. This MoU stemmed from years of bilateral consultations on common areas of work and responded to the request by Contracting Parties of both organizations for enhanced coordination.

The MoU between UN Environment/MAP-Barcelona Convention and GFCM addresses the following five areas of cooperation:

1) Promotion of ecosystem-based approaches for the conservation of marine and coastal environment and ecosystems, and the sustainable use of marine living and other natural resources;

2) Mitigation of the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine habitats and species by the use of best available techniques in fisheries and the development of sustainable aquaculture;

3) Identification, protection and management of marine areas of particular importance in the Mediterranean (hot spots of biodiversity, areas with sensitive habitats, essential fish habitats, areas of importance for fisheries and/or for the conservation of endangered species, coastal wetlands);

4) Integrated maritime policy with a special emphasis on marine and coastal spatial planning, and integrated coastal zone management, and other integrated zoning approaches, with a view to mitigate cumulative risks due to reduced access and availability of space affected by multiple and increasing conflictive uses;

5) Legal, institutional and policy related cooperation.

Contact info:

Gaetano Leone, Coordinator
Tel.: + 30 210 727 3101

Abdellah Srour, Executive Secretary
Tel.: + 39 06 570 55730

(The MoU will be automatically renewed unless both organizations decide to terminate it or amend it)

Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
Contribute to the formulation/implementation of a regional framework strategy based on the ecosystem approach and on agreed indicators and reference points (ecological, biological, etc.) to monitor the status of the marine environment and coastal ecosystems and that of marine living natural resources; Cooperate in undertaking assessments of the state of marine environment and ecosystems and that of marine living resources, including socio economic aspects relating to the impact of the exploitation of fisheries on marine environment and ecosystems, the impact of the establishment of marine protected areas on marine living resources, and the impact of coastal and marine aquaculture; Collaborate in formulation/development and implementation of key regional strategies to advance progress in the implementation of UN SDG 14. Collaborate in the elaboration, including extra-budgetary fundraising, of a joint regional project on the evaluation and mitigation of by-catch of endangered and non-target species and of the impact of fishing gears on marine habitats;
Consider initiatives to develop the concept of marine spatial planning in a manner that takes into account fisheries and aquaculture activities, activities for the preservation of marine habitats and associated species , and possible conflicts between these activities and other uses of the sea (e.g. shipping, marine renewable energies, etc.); Exchange data and information on deep see habitats in order to further the knowledge of these habitats, their biodiversity and their living resources for the purpose of better management; Collaborate in initiatives that raise awareness and mitigate major impacts such as those related to reduce amount of fishing gear as litter, etc; With regard respectively to the Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMIs) and the Fisheries Restricted Areas (FRAs) in particular those located partially or wholly on the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), collaborate to harmonize existing respective criteria to identify those areas, for the cases where their location may be coincident and in the selection of mechanisms needed for their establishment;
Cooperate in undertaking assessments of the state of coastal lagoons and other relevant coastal wetlands to be used for the formulation and dissemination of sustainable management measures and sustainable use of its living resources; Study the impacts of climate change on the marine environment and ecosystems and their marine living resources; Contribute to the formulation and adoption of appropriate fisheries and aquaculture adaptation and mitigation measures to climate change in relation to the environment, and including enhancing knowledge and communication;
Strengthening scientific advice on issues of common interest, including the negative effects of pollution of the marine environment and ecosystems on marine living resources and ways to better address cumulative impacts; Consult regularly on policy issues of common interest to identify synergies; Promote exchanges of information and data as appropriate, and share the results of this cooperation through a website; Coordinate positions within international fora which involve and are of direct relevance to both organizations.
Other, please specify
To be determined. Both organizations have funds allocated to promote cooperation in areas of common interest which support, among others, the implementation of the MoU
Basic information
Time-frame: 2012 - 2018 September
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Mediterranean riparian countries
Contact information
Julien Le Tellier , Programme Management Officer, Socio-Economic Affairs, UN Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan Coordinating Unit , julien.letellier@un.org, + 30 210 7273133
Athens, Greece
Other SDGs
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