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Preparation and adoption of the Action Plan

This Action Plan is the result of a series of various initiatives at regional level which highlighted the conservation of species generally and marine vegetation in particular. Among these initiatives we could mention the "Livre Rouge, Gerard Vuignier, des végétaux, peuplements et paysages menaces de Méditerranée", which came out in 1990. Specialists from several countries of the region collaborated on this, to provide a first synthesis of knowledge on the status of the main threatened marine vegetation species in the Mediterranean.

In 1996, the Annexes to the SPA/BD Protocol were adopted, among them a list of endangered or threatened species, where 14 endangered or threatened marine vegetation species appeared. For these species, the Protocol provides for a set of measures such as scientific monitoring, inventory and protection notably through the control of human activities. It also recommends elaborating and implementing of specific Action Plans.

At the seminar on marine and coastal biodiversity organized by MEDMARAVIS in Alghero (Italy) from 19 to 22 January 1995, the participants recommended a certain number of criteria to be taken into consideration when assessing the status of species requiring particular attention. Several marine vegetation species were particularly identified as being rare, in decline, or having ecological importance in the Mediterranean.

On the base of these various initiatives, bearing in mind the obvious decline recorded as regards several marine vegetation species, the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, at their 10th Ordinary Meeting in November 1997 in Tunis (Tunisia), requested RAC/SPA to draw up an Action Plan for the conservation of marine vegetation in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Action Plan for the conservation of marine vegetation in the Mediterranean Sea was adopted by the Eleventh Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties in October 1999, then it was revised in 2005.