Maro-Cerro Gordo Cliffs Natural Area ( Malaga, Spain)

About the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation
The Mediterranean is characterised by a high diversity of species and ecosystems, highly productive lands and seas, a moderate climate, as well as a particular landscape and harmony between man and nature. Among the problems affecting the region are the rapid urbanisation of coastal zones, thus reducing the extent of natural areas; the modification of coastal landscapes; the increasing conflicts between the uses of land, water and other natural resources; the increasing loss of soil due to erosion, and the scarcity of water. At the same time, the dumping of toxic substances on the shores and the over-exploitation of fisheries are posing a threat to the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the Mediterranean, a key tourist destination. 

In response to pressing needs, and under the auspices of IUCN, Mediterranean Members during 2nd World Conservation Congress in Amman (Jordan) approved the IUCN programme for the Mediterranean region, and the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation was created in 2000 with the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Environment and the regional Ministry of Environment in Andalusia, Consejeria de Medio Ambiente (Junta de Andalucia). The Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) joined the agreement in 2010. Also the same year, the Centre assumes the implementation of a new IUCN Programme specifically designed for North Africa.

The office is located in the Parque Tecnologico de Andalucia in Malaga, Spain.

A Vision for the Mediterranean
“Sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation are promoted through cooperation and supported by shared values and cultureIUCN programme 2013 – 2016.

Members in the region
IUCN has 203 Members and 1600 Commission members in the Mediterranean region. National Committees of IUCN Members (or equivalent structures) have been established in 5 countries (France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Morocco).


The Mediterranean in figures

  • Age in its current form: 5 million years
  • Length of coastline: 46,000 kilometres
  • Sole natural exit: Strait of Gibraltar (15 km separate Europe and Africa)
  • Water inflow from the Atlantic: 1.5 million m3 per second
  • Estimated renewal period of Mediterranean sea water: 80 years
  • Average depth: 1,500 metres
  • Main crops: cereals, olives, vines
  • Commercial fish: approx.100 species
  • Countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus,  Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Serbia,  Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey
  • Main rivers: Nile, Rhone, Po, Ebro
  • Mountain chains: Sierra Nevada, Pyrenees, Alps, Dinaric Mountains, Rhodope Mountains and Taurus Mountains
  • Flora: 25,000 species (approx. half are endemic)
  • Marine fauna: 900 species
  • Coastal population: 40% (150 million people)
  • Mean annual population growth rate: 1.3%
  • Coastal tourism: 100 million people per year
  • Area covered by tourist facilities: 4,000 km2
  • Hotel beds: 40 million
  • Vehicles: 120 million
  • Length of major roads: 2.5 million km (of which 1.8 million in the north)
  • Marine traffic: 200,000 crossings per year, 2,000 ships at any one time (of which 300 tankers)
  • Waste waters disposed of untreated: 70-85 %
  • Main polluting industries: chemicals, refineries, metal production, mines, and leather
  • Petrol refineries: 60 which dump 20,000 tonnes of petrol per year into the sea
  • Thermal power stations: around 100
  • Energy consumption: 800-900 million toe (tonnes oil equivalent)
  • Risk of erosion: 50% of land area
  • Average annual area affected by fires each year: 200,000 hectares

Sources: IUCN - EU -OECD -UN - UNEP


Malaga: Venue for the Mediterranean Cooperation Centre
Malaga is at the centre of the Alboran Sea, near the Strait of Gibraltar and North Africa, with more than half a million inhabitants in the city alone.Throughout its history, Malaga has been associated with the Mediterranean and its different cultures, and continues to receive the enriching influence of tourists and migrants.

Malaga is an important communication node with railways, maritime routes, and a major airport that links principal European capitals and North Africa with direct flights.

The local agenda 21 "Green Chapter of Malaga", bases the development of the city around the paradigm of sustainable development with one objective: "to consolidate Malaga as a metropolitan city, a metropolis of high environmental quality, the economic and technological capital of Andalucia; main tourist destination for European leisure."

Our offices are located in:

IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation
C/ Marie Curie 22, Edif. Habitec
Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía
29590 Campanillas, Málaga

Tel. + 34 952 028430



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