Protocol concerning specially protected areas and biological diversity in the Mediterranean (SPA-BD Mediterranean Protocol)

The Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (SPA-BD Mediterranean Protocol) was adopted, in the frame of the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution (Barcelona Convention), on 10 July 1995. This Protocol, which replaces the Protocol concerning
Mediterranean Specially Protected Areas of 1982, entered into force on 12 December 1999. The SPA/BD Mediterranean Protocol is the Mediterranean’s main tool for implementing the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, as regards the in situ sustainable management of coastal and marine biodiversity.

Objectives and approach

The SPA/BD Protocol recommends concrete protection measures to safeguard elements of biological diversity though action plans and technical inventorying tools. The Protocol also recommends setting up Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Interest, including trans-boundary areas, in areas where several states have sovereignty and in international waters.

Institutional structure

According to Article 26 of the Protocol, the ordinary meetings of the Parties to this Protocol will be held in conjunction with the ordinary meetings to the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention.

Work Areas

The Protocol deals with 6 aspects to be promoted:

  • Conservation of species that are threatened with extinction, endangered, or to be managed;
  • Sustainable use of biological resources;
  • Protecting habitats that are in danger of disappearance or are necessary for the survival, reproduction and restoration of threatened or endemic species;
  • Conservation of types of marine and coastal ecosystem that are typical of the Mediterranean;
  • Protecting sites of scientific, aesthetic, cultural or educational interest;
  • Setting up and promoting Specially Protected Areas.