The Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/MAP) and the Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD) announced a Memorandum of Understanding aiming to foster bilateral cooperation for healthy marine and coastal ecosystems that underpin sustainable development in the Mediterranean region. Tatjana Hema, the UNEP/MAP Coordinator, and Moh Rejdali, the COMPSUD Chairperson, signed the MoU at a ceremony held on 12 April 2022 in Zappeion Megaron in Athens, Greece.

Building on previous collaborations, the two institutions will work together to accelerate the implementation of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) and its Protocols through coordinated advocacy efforts and a strengthened science-policy interface. The newly signed MoU was approved by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union) at their 22nd Meeting (COP 22) held from 7-10 December 2021 in Antalya, Turkey. By the same token, COP 22 renewed the membership of COMPSUD in the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD), the multi-stakeholder advisory body of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention.

“Since the inception of UNEP/MAP in 1975, significant progress has been achieved on multiple fronts, including pollution reduction and biodiversity protection, through the introduction of legally binding regional plans and measures,” Ms. Hema noted. The UNEP/MAP Coordinator added that “the mandate conferred to us by the Contracting Parties has been resolutely oriented towards the pursuit of sustainable development since 1995. We have made strides in shoring up the countries’ efforts in this field. We have devised a Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development under the Barcelona Convention. I am confident that our COMPSUD partners will bring their impetus to enhancing the implementation of all these commitments for the benefit of our region”.

Prof. Rejdali noted that the MoU came in response to expectations from Mediterranean countries and stakeholders in the region. “We are committed to achieving and maintaining the Good Environmental Status of the Mediterranean as defined under the Barcelona Convention, upgrade and expand Education and Awareness on Sustainable Development and promote the access of citizens to environmental information, active participation and justice, encouraging all Mediterranean countries to join the Aarhus Convention” the COMPSUD Chairperson said, adding that “healthy ecosystems are crucial for achieving the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in our region”.

The MoU addresses five areas of cooperation:

  • Supporting the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, and advocating their universal ratification and their enforcement through national legislation and measures;
  • Mobilizing parliamentary diplomacy in support of regional multilateralism and solidarity for environmental protection and sustainable development;
  • Bolstering science-policy interfaces and fostering a multi-stakeholder dialogue to enable evidence-based, inclusive policymaking in the region;
  • Launching joint advocacy initiatives on common priority themes, such as climate change, marine litter, biodiversity conservation and marine protected areas, sustainable blue economy, access to environmental information, participation and justice, and education for sustainable development;
  • Promoting and implementing common initiatives to advance the delivery of the SDGs in the Mediterranean.

As part of its efforts to engage with parliamentarians, UNEP/MAP is also working with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (PA OSCE).

Notes to editors

The Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD) was created in December 2002 with the encouragement of the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE), a UNEP/MAP partner, and the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med), an MCSD Member, in the wake of the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). COMPSUD is an open, flexible and light structure, aiming to promote suitable mechanisms to support the dialogue among Members of Parliaments (from EU and non-EU Mediterranean countries), policymakers and other stakeholders on the protection of the Mediterranean environment and the necessary socio-economic conditions for the sustainable development of the region.

For more information please contact:

Haris Paliogiannis, Policy Officer, MIO-ECSDE / COMPSUD

Jihed Ghannem, Public Information Officer, UNEP/MAP

Read in French here


MoU signing ceremony. From left to right: Tatjana Hema, UNEP/MAP Coordinator; Michael Scoullos, Chairman, MIO-ECSDE; Moh Rejdali, Chairman, COMPSUD; Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou, Vice-Chair of COMPSUD and Chairwoman of the Special Permanent Committee on Environmental Protection at the Hellenic Parliament.