What is SoED 2020 ?

The SoED provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of environment and development interactions in the Mediterranean region. The 2020 version consists of eight thematic chapters and is complemented by two summary papers: Summary for Decision Makers and Key Messages. Topics covered include: socio-economic drivers and trends; climate change; biodiversity and ecosystem services; economic activities and related pressures; coastal dynamics and related impacts; food and water security; health and environment; and governance. At the request of the 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean and the European Union, the SoED was prepared by Plan Bleu in the framework of the United Nations Environment Programme -Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) – Barcelona Convention system. Mediterranean countries and stakeholders have demonstrated a need and interest for up-to-date information and analysis on the environment and development, including maps, graphs and data, and linked recent policies. In the Mediterranean region, no reports of this type have been produced in the last decade. The aim of the SoED 2020 is to fill this gap and increase awareness and understanding of the state of the Mediterranean, underlying driving forces and impacts, as well as to propose potential responses, while facilitating the measurement of progress towards sustainable development. The SoED also provides an up-to-date basis for improving the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 (MSSD). Another objective of this report is to demonstrate the ability to monitor and analyze the state of the environment, the impact of human activities on the environment and the potential impact of environmental degradation on human well-being and activities.

The SoED takes into account other MAP reports, in particular the 2017 Mediterranean Quality Status Report (2017 Med QSR).

It will also fuel the MED 2050 foresight exercise. This report is the result of a great collective effort, led by Plan Bleu. All MAP components and the MAP Coordinating Unit, as well as regional networks and partners, such as the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agricultural Studies, the Centre for Mediterranean Integration or the Mediterranean Expert Network on Climate and Environmental Change, have co-led the preparation of chapters or thematic sections. More than 150 technical and scientific partners co-authored or revised the report. MAP national and thematic focal points and members of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) were also consulted throughout the report preparation process. Data sources are consistent with international best practices. The report is based on several available sources of information, prioritizing data from the United Nations system. When not available in the United Nations system, data comes from other recognized international and regional organizations, such as the World Bank, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the European Environment Agency, etc. In addition to providing information to public and private decision-makers, the report also helps inform the general public. The SoEDis the achievement of long-standing common goals of Mediterranean countries.


Summary for decision makers

The summary provides an overview of the state of the environment and development in the Mediterranean. It is built according to the same structure as the main report, and is also intended for a wide audience.

Key Messages

This paper gathers evidence from various chapters most closely related to marine and coastal environmental issues and highlights the combined interactions and impacts according to the analytical framework of factors-pressures-state-impacts-responses (DPSIR). The key messages develop a broader significance of the results, conveying relevant but non-prescriptive suggestions for policy makers in the context of the Mediterranean Action Plan – The Barcelona Convention System, and identify priority areas for future policy-oriented research. Key messages are consistent with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs, as well as the SMDD


Previous reports

  • A sustainable future for the Mediterranean: the prospects for the environment and development of the Blue Plan (2005)
  • SoED 2009
  • State of the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment – 2012

The future of the Mediterranean is on the line. In the past few months, the world has been wondering what the world will be like in the future. This is the third issue of the SoED report since 2005 and very little has changed since. If we want to protect the Mediterranean for present and future generations, we can no longer afford piecemeal steps. We must embark on drastic changes in our relationship with nature.

François Guerquin, Director of Plan Bleu Tweet

By shedding light on the mistakes of the past, the report’s findings can guide a green renaissance in the Mediterranean. Embarking on greener development paths now can halt the environmental degradation trends and salvage hard-won achievements in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Gaetano Leone, Coordinator of the UNEP/MAP - Barcelona Convention Secretariat Tweet


If you have any questions or to arrange an interview with the director or one of our experts, please email:

You can also contact us by phone:

Pauline Simon, Information-Communication Mission Officer
06 80 04 92 19


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