The Contracting Parties to the Action Plan for the Mediterranean (PAM) have committed in 2008 of the application of the ecosystem approach (ECAP) to the management of human activities and defined a roadmap adopted at the COP18 in 2013, to achieve a common vision: a healthy Mediterranean with marine and coastal ecosystems that are productive and biologically diverse for the benefit of present and future generations. This holistic approach emphasizes the links between ecosystems, living beings that inhabit them and human well-being. Its application brings out priorities to respond more effectively to the needs of management and conservation. In 2016, during the COP 19, the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme and related Assessment Criteria (IMAP) was adopted. IMAP provides guidelines for Contracting Parties to apply EcAp.
Principles and implementation of this initiative are consistent with those of the European Strategy Framework Directive for the marine environment, which are subject European Member States.
Despite log standing efforts, degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems is continuing. Main pressures and impacts affecting the Mediterranean were identified through the initial assessment:
Mid-2017, steps 1-6 were completed and step 7 in progress. Plan Bleu completed the initial assessment by a socio-economic analysis. Final report is being validated by European Commission.
The Plan Bleu’s works are focusing on economic analysis of marine and coastal ecosystems, as a preparatory step to the implementation of integrated management measures to reach good status of these ecosystems.
Plan Bleu is working:
– Assessment of the economic value of sustainable benefits provided by the Mediterranean marine ecosystems,
– Analysis of maritime economic activities sustainability, case of fishing,
– Economic and social analysis as part of the ECAP MAP initiative,
– Significant participation in the European research project PERSEUS (Policy oriented marine Environmental Research for the Southern EUropean Seas) for economic and social analysis and development of adaptive management measures.
– In the framework of EcApMED II project, Plan Bleu is in charge of the activity related to Science-Policy interface strengthening. This activity allows discussion between scientists and Mediterranean decision-makers on strategies and methodologies to make marine and coastal policies stronger and more adaptive.