Governance of the Mediterranean

Balaenoptera physalus - Fin whale

Countries of the South and North sides of the Mediterranean


Regarding the difficulties to establish an Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEE) in the Mediterranean Geographical context, most of the Mediterranean countries did not declare their ZEE despite of the possibility given by the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

However, some of them have declared areas subjected to particular systems in order to more control on fishing and pollution’s risks. With a view to the serious threats that this maritime space is facing, experts think that the extent of countries’ jurisdictions through the the ZEE process would ensure a better control of the states on this sea, and then a better management of natural resources and pollution risks. It is following this prospect that France has announced its intention to create a ZEE in the Mediterranean, in agreement with the conclusions of the “Grenelle de la mer”.

Nevertheless, in numerous cases these declarations will remain impossible; thus there is a need to develop at the same time the international cooperation, to be able to manage the Mediterranean in an innovative governance framework, adapted to the characteristics of this maritime space.
The direct or indirect project contributions are parts of the efforts made to understand and improve the judicial framework for the Mediterranean Governance. This permits the extent of its field of expertise (example of canyons), and to increase the number of experts participating to the task forces regularly organized within the project.

The role of IUCN-Med

Nowadays, there is no framework in the Mediterranean that allows the states to dialogue and get mutually informed about their intentions of declaring an extension of jurisdiction beyond their territorial sea. The implementation of such a Framework can reinforce the stability of the international relations between the countries of the region, and improve the Mediterranean environmental governance systems. 
During the IUCN Congress of 2004, the Governmental and nongovernmental IUCN members have adopted a motion asking the organization to implement an informal consultation process about the issue of the Mediterranean governance. It is in the setting of this decision’s implementation that the project finds itself.

Objectives, results and impacts on biodiversity

• Organizing a group of experts and bring information on the different essential themes of the Mediterranean governance.
• Implementing and make durable an informal consultation process
The project started in 2009, and already obtained several important results, like: 
 A group of experts working on the Mediterranean governance issues, and specially on the subject of areas beyond national jurisdictions; Animated by IUCN since 2007 and strongly reinforced in the current project.
 Several publications and experts assessments were produced, enhancing the joint knowledge of numerous specialists from the domain, from France and from IUCN.
 Formal and informal recommendations are frequently brought to the Mediterranean governance actors, and specially several governmental institutions from the two Mediterranean sides and from the European Commission.

Partners and donors

The present project is based on the IUCN Environmental Law Experts Commission, and is developed in close collaboration with Mediterranean international organizations like the General Commission of Fishery for the Mediterranean (CGPM in French), the Agreement for the Protection of Cetaceans (ACCOBAMS) and the activity centers of the Mediterranean Action Plan (PAM) which counts among others the Regional Activity Center for the Areas Specially Protected (CAR-ASP). 
With the financial support of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transports and Housing (MEDDTL).

24 months – Indication dates : Avril 2009 – Avril 2011

Budget: 80 000 euros

More iformations : François Simard

IUCN-Med receives core financial support from the Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucia, the Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) among others.

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