Story | 18 Jun, 2020

Tapping OECMs Potential To Advance Aichi Target 11 in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries

Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed on a definition, guiding principles, common characteristics and criteria for identifying ‘Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures’ (OECMs) at the 14th Conference of the Parties (Decision 14/8, November 2018). State agencies, private entities, civil society organisations and local communities are now turning to assess the extent of their potential OECMs and to begin to recognize and report them.

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Photo: PPCA

To support learning about OECMs, and to share guidance about how to identify, report and support OECMs in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, with the support of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Japanese Biodiversity Fund, commissioned a thorough analysis of the potential of OECMs in advancing on Aichi Target 11 and on the post 2020 related targets and organised  a first regional workshop on OECMs in February 2020 in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and other partners. More than fifty participants took part to this event, representing PA agencies and other departments and stakeholders in charge of potential OECMs from the targeted countries, along with several international organisations and civil society organisations.

This workshop presented a preliminary analysis of the Aichi Target 11 implementation progress and the potential that has OECMs in those countries. Several potential OECMs sites and categories have been discussed by country representatives ranging from cultural parks in Algeria, to permanent hunting reserves in Morocco to Ramsar sites in Tunisia. The workshop report as well as the Power Point presentations made during the event are available at the links on the right section of this page.

The results of the workshop enabled refining the analysis on the contribution that potential OECMs categories can make to advance quantitative and qualitative aspects of the Aichi Target 11 in the target countries, namely on :
(i) coverage
(ii) inclusiveness
(iii) management
(iv) connectivity and
(v) representation.

The overall assessment of the current situation reveals that all countries need to make substantial effort to meet the 2020 targets for most indicators, particularly in the marine environment. The potential OECMs that were considered could substantially increase all the qualitative and quantitative indicators in several countries to meet Aichi Target 11 and even help meet the draft new Post 2020 target on area-based conservation. The final report detailing the results of the analysis will be published upon its finalisation.

IUCN and WCPA would like to thank all the partners who contributed to this initiative, namely the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (SPA/RAC), the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and the donors: Japanese biodiversity Fund and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

For more information: Maher Mahjoub, North Africa Programme Coordinator at IUCN-Med (, and Imen Meliane, WCPA Regional Vice-Chair for North Africa, Middle East and West Asia (

with support from

cbdPhoto: cbd
jbfPhoto: JBF