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The IMAP-MPA project

Towards achieving the Good Environmental Status of the
Mediterranean Sea through an Ecologically Representative
and Efficiently Managed and Monitored Network of Marine
Protected Areas

Towards achieving the Good Environmental Status of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast through an Ecologically Representative and Efficiently Managed and Monitored Network of Marine Protected Areas

Total Duration:

42 months (August 2019 - February 2023)


The IMAP-MPA project builds on the results and achievements of the EcAp-Med II project "Mediterranean Implementation of the Ecosystem Approach, in coherence with the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive" which included the development of national monitoring programmes following the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) requirements, and the MedMPA Network project "Towards an ecologically representative and efficiently managed network of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas" that consisted of developing a Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Protected Areas (MPAs) Network through the boosting of MPAs Creation and Management.

This project is also contributing to the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (SPA/BD Protocol).


The overall objective of this project is to contribute towards the achievement of the Good Environmental Status (GES) in the Mediterranean Sea and coast through the consolidation of the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) process for MPAs management and sustainable development. This will be achieved through the monitoring and assessment of the IMAP common indicators, in MPAs and high-pressure areas, in a comparative and integrated manner.

The project aims also to strengthen MPA management through coordinated implementation of the Barcelona Convention Roadmap for a Comprehensive Coherent Network of Well-Managed MPAs to achieve Aichi Target 11 in the Mediterranean, as well as enhance the integration of the IMAP in this process.


SPA/RAC main activities within this project:

  • In depth identification at country level of the capacities required to enable IMAP implementation and facilitate the provision of reliable and quality assured data for the MED 2023 QSR.
  • Capacity building and exchange of best practices at the national, sub-regional and regional level through specific training sessions and meetings.
  • Integrated/joint monitoring in MPAs and high-pressure areas carried out in identified pilot sites for agreed common indicators.
  • Support for the development of a National MPA Network Strategy for the Mediterranean coast in Egypt.
  • Organization of the 2020 Forum of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean to pave the way for the post 2020 MPA agenda process in the Mediterranean.
  • The development of a strategic document on MPAs and other effective area-based conservation measures in the Mediterranean, in line with the CBD post-2020 global biodiversity framework through a participatory process.
  • Elaboration of MPA management plans and provision of support for their effective implementation.
  • Improvement of MPA management through capacity building and initiation of management plans implementation.
Geographical scope and countries involved:

Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, with a focus on Southern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia).

Jordan and Palestine, which are not Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, will participate in activities related to exchange of best practices and/or regional capacity building.

Target groups:

MPA managers, practitioners and relevant authorities and stakeholders in the countries concerned by the project.


The IMAP-MPA project is coordinated by UNEP/MAP Secretariat and implemented through its Mediterranean Pollution Assessment and Control Programme (MED POL) and the Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC), in cooperation with the Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC) on hydrography and the Information and Communication Regional Activity Centre (INFO/RAC) on data inputs.


The IMAP-MPA project is funded by the European Union (the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) and the Green MED III: ENI South regional environment and water programme 2018-2022 financial instrument).

Learn More: 

Further information can be found on the project webpage on the UNEP/MAP website: 



For more information on the IMAP-MPA Project, please contact

MPA officer - IMAP-MPA project

Yassine-Ramzi SGHAIER
Ecosystem Approach projects officer

MPA associate officer - IMAP-MPA project

IMAP associate officer - IMAP-MPA project


Photo Credits: © SPA/RAC