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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

Total duration:

36 months September 2020 – August 2023

Beneficiary Countries:

Southern Mediterranean Contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.


Building on the outcomes of the Projects EcAp MED I (2012-2015) and EcAp MED II (2015-2019) funded by the European Union, the actual EcAp MED III project is meant to support the implementation of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) and data-based 2023 Quality Status Report in line with 2023 MED QSR Roadmap milestones at national, sub-regional and regional level with a particular focus on southern Mediterranean countries.

The EcAp MED III project should provide an important contribution to the implementation of UNEP/MAP 2016-2021 Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) and 2020-2021 Programme of Work adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP 21), and of several other COP Decisions related to the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach and IMAP.
This project will be an important contribution to the new Medium-Term Strategy (2022-2027), strengthening the foundations for data collection, integrated monitoring, and regional assessment with the objective of assessing the progress towards achieving Good Environmental Status of the Mediterranean Sea.


The overall objective of the EcAp MED III Project is to contribute to the assessment of the status of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast and to the delivery of a data-based 2023 Quality Status Report in order to measure the progress towards achieving the Good Environmental Status (GES).

More specifically, the EcAp-MEDIII project is expected to:

  1. support the implementation of IMAP monitoring, assessment and reporting in line with 2023 MED QSR Roadmap milestones at national, sub-regional and regional level with a particular focus on southern Mediterranean countries namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.
  2. strengthen IMAP data management through the expansion of the IMAP Info-System covering the entire scope of IMAP Common Indicators.
  3. support harmonized assessment at national level through the preparation of national assessment factsheets for the respective IMAP Common Indicators and delivery of a data-based 2023 Mediterranean Quality Status Report (2023 MED QSR).
  4. contribute to strengthening the Science-Policy interface (SPI) at national and regional levels for IMAP implementation and delivery of 2023 MED QSR.
Activities :

The objectives of the EcAp MED III Project will be accomplished through strengthening the implementation of IMAP at the national level and allowing an assessment of the state of the marine and coastal environment toward the delivery of the data-based 2023 Mediterranean Quality Status Report (MED QSR), on the basis of a set of agreed Common Indicators (CIs) for the following Ecological Objectives: pollution (EO5), marine litter (EO10), biodiversity (EO1), non-indigenous species (EO2), hydrography (EO7) and the coast (EO8).

The project outlines two main outcomes that will be realised through a set of outputs.

Outcome 1: Effective ‘On the ground’ national IMAP implementation with beneficiary countries providing quality assured data for the development of a quality-assured, region-wide and data-based (Evidence-based) 2023 MED QSR.

    • Output 1: National and Joint Monitoring carried out of selected Common Indicator(s) (CIs) in beneficiary countries based on national IMAP.
    • Output 2: Joint monitoring pilots designed and implemented (NIS).
    • Output 3: Undertake baseline sub-regional assessments for CI 15 and support implementation of monitoring CI 16 in at least one area per beneficiary country.
    • Output 4: IMAP Info System expanded to include all mandatory CI of IMAP, fully operational enabling the Contracting Parties to report their monitoring data in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Outcome 2: Regional scale progress and consensus for the monitoring and assessment as well as the reporting processes at national, sub-regional and regional levels.

Support the work on scales of monitoring and assessments

    • Output 1: Analysis for each IMAP cluster on knowledge gaps, with a focus on the scales of assessment/reporting prepared/agreed and scales of monitoring for all IMAP Common Indicators agreed/progressed.
    • Output 2: Assessment criteria/thresholds/ baseline values proposed/updated for the 10 IMAP Common Indicators included in the current IMAP Pilot Info System as well as one candidate indicator (Noise).
    • Output 3: Regular regional/sub-regional expert group meetings, i.e., expert group per sub-region per topic established and operational to address monitoring and assessment scales, monitoring protocols and assessment criteria.
    • Output 4: Support to CORMON meetings per cluster ensuring strong participation and inputs to its work from expert networks established at sub regional level for the beneficiary countries.

Boost regional cooperation and SPI including at national level

    • Output 1: Establish and implement a communication and visibility strategy for the MED 2023 QSR; Outreach to key partners is undertaken and relevant meetings held.
    • Output 2: Strengthen SPI networks of scientists and policy makers for the IMAP and its implementation; Design and implement 1-2 pilots at country level
    • Output 3: Develop and implement a time-line for regional data sharing between partners.
    • Output 4: Develop and Publish 2023 MED QSR in 2 languages; make it available online and present at COP 23.

The EcAp-MEDIII Project is coordinated by UNEP/MAP Secretariat and implemented through its Mediterranean Pollution and Assessment and Control Programme (MEDPOL), the Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC), the Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC), the Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre (PB/RAC) and the Regional Activity Centre for Information and Communication (INFO/RAC).

The EcAp-MEDIII project is funded by the European Union (EU) – Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV).

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For more information on the EcAp-MEDIII Project, please contact
IMAP officer
Project assistant – EcAp-MEDIII project


Photo Credits: © SPA/RAC