EcAp MED III project takes place within the framework of Mediterranean Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach, in coherence with the European Union (EU) Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) during the period 2020-2023

The project titled “Support to Efficient Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach-based Integrated Monitoring and Assessment of the Mediterranean Sea and Coasts and to delivery of data-based 2023 Quality Status Report in synergy with the EU MSFD” (EcAp MED III) is funded by the European Union (EU). Its overall aim is to further assist the Southern Mediterranean Contracting Parties to implement the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP), adopted in 2016, as part of the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach Roadmap and contribute to the delivery of the 2023 Quality Status Report of the Mediterranean (MED QSR). It builds on the successful implementation of the previous projects EcAp MED I (2012-2015) and EcAp MED II (2015-2019).

With an overall budget of USD 2,494,790 including an EU allocation of USD 2,200,000 and the co-financing from the Mediterranean Trust Fund (MTF) of USD 294,790, the national component of the EcAp MED III are implemented in seven beneficiary countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.

The EcAp MED III project activities are coordinated by the UNEP/MAP Coordinating Unit and co-executed by MAP Components (INFO/RAC, MED POL, PAP/RAC, SPA/RAC and Plan Bleu), in line with their respective mandates and areas of expertise. The delivery of EcAp MED III project activities is done in synergy with the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).


The EcAp MED III project aims to achieve three main objectives:

  • boost the effective implementation of the IMAP in the Mediterranean;
  • contribute to the elaboration and implementation of appropriate scales of assessment and common integrated assessment methodologies harmonized at regional and sub regional levels, for the Mediterranean Sea and Coast;
  • contribute to the delivery of a data-based 2023 MED Quality Status Report.

The project expands the current IMAP Info System to cover all IMAP Common Indicators. The EcAp MED III project also contributes to the strengthening of the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) at national and regional levels for IMAP implementation and delivery of 2023 MED QSR.

Expected Project outcomes

  • Effective ‘on-the-ground’ national IMAP implementation by the beneficiary countries, providing quality-assured data that will enable the development of the quality-assured, region-wide and data-based 2023 MED QSR; and
  • Regional scale progress and consensus for the monitoring, assessment, and reporting processes at national, sub-regional and regional levels.

The EcAp MED III project contributed to the implementation of UNEP/MAP Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) 2016-2021 and 2020-2021 Programme of Work, and is now providing an important contribution to UNEP/MAP Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) 2022-2027 and 2022-2023 Programme of Work, as well as several other COP Decisions related to the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach and IMAP. This project is an important factor to successfully bridge the two MTS), with regards to strengthening the foundations for data collection, integrated monitoring and regional and national assessments, with the objective of measuring the progress towards achieving Good Environmental Status of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast.

The EcAp MED III project relates directly, and contributes, to Sustainable Development Goal 14: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” and to several SDG indicators. It also contributes towards the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, and to the implementation of the MSFD and of the 2014 Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Change.

Through its comprehensive approach focusing on capacity strengthening, sub-regional and regional cooperation, the project brings benefits to a variety of stakeholders, including policy-makers at local and national levels, national institutions responsible for the implementation of IMAPs, the scientific community, data experts and scientists, and citizens of the Mediterranean while strengthening the general outreach and visibility in support of the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach Roadmap in the Mediterranean.

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The Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way.

The Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention have been engaged, at their 18th Ordinary Meeting, into the implementation of the ecosystem approach to the management of human activities in the Mediterranean, with the ultimate objective to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES) of the Mediterranean Sea. They also outline a Roadmap for its implementation.

Moreover, the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy framework Directive (MSFD, 2008) by the EU Member States in the region presents crucial opportunities and needs for the application of the EcAp throughout the Mediterranean region ensuring that the MSFD and EcAp mutually strengthen and build on each other with the common ultimate aim to achieve GES of the Mediterranean sea.

"A healthy Mediterranean with marine and coastal ecosystems that are productive and biologically diverse", (Ecosystem Approach RoadMap)

The ecosystem approach process has been supported by two projects: EcAp-MED I (2012-2015) and EcAp-MED II (2015-2019). In fact, next to strongly contributing to the achievement of the first steps of the EcAp roadmap, especially in relation to the development of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme for the Mediterranean, the EcAp-MED I project has also created a great ownership between the Contracting Parties for EcAp. The EcAp-MED II project seeks to support the Southern Mediterranean Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to implement the EcAp.


The overall objective of this project has been to support the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention and its Southern Mediterranean Contracting Parties to implement the ecosystem approach in synergy and coherence with the implementation of the European Union (EU) Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). These countries have been supported to implement the EcAp Roadmap, through assisting them in establishing new monitoring programmes in line with EcAp. The first step for a quantitative monitoring of the status of the Mediterranean Sea and coast on a regional basis, covering biodiversity and non-indigenous species, coast and hydrography, and pollution and marine litter monitoring in an interlinked manner.

In addition, the project has (a) addressed some specific challenges of the EcAp Roadmap implementation in the Mediterranean; (b) strengthened science-policy interface; (c) addressed sub-regional implementation needs; and (d) responded to data and information challenges in the region.

In the framework of the EcAp MED II project a key task of INFO/RAC has been the development of a IMAP (Pilot) Info System. IMAP is composed by 27 Common Indicators that require the construction of related Data Standards and Data Dictionaries for each one. One of the aims of the pilot has been to verify the feasibility of implementing a structure able to support this process and the development of a pilot system to collect data related to 11 Common Indicators.

The original duration of the project (36 months, from June 2015- May 2018) has been extended to June 2019.

The beneficiary Countries are (a) Southern Mediterranean Contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention; (b) Algeria; (c) Egypt; (d) Israel; (e) Libya; (f) Lebanon; (g) Morocco; and (h) Tunisia.

The project has been implemented by the MAP Coordinating Unit (UNEP/MAP) and executed by several MAP Components such as INFO/RAC, MED POL, PB/RAC, PAP/RAC and SPA/RAC.

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published on 2019/04/16 09:52:00 GMT+0 last modified 2022-05-24T01:44:28+00:00