A new political impetus for further protection of the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea’s marine biodiversity and ecosystems are some of the most vulnerable in the world. A global approach is required, one that is focused on protecting biodiversity and also on overfishing, marine pollution and shipping.

The Coalition for an Exemplary Mediterranean in 2030 aims to rekindle regional cooperation on the protection of marine biodiversity and to contribute to discussions in multilateral and regional organizations dedicated to the environment and fisheries management.

This initiative is based on an action plan entitled “The Mediterranean: a model sea by 2030” which addresses four themes: (1) preserving marine biodiversity, (2) reducing the impact of fishing, (3) combating marine pollution (especially plastic), (4) sustainable shipping. These themes are in turn broken down into 19 operational actions to which coalition members commit.

A first version of the action plan was produced by France, Monaco and Spain at the One Planet Summit in January 2021.

The action plan was formally adopted on September 3, 2021 at the opening of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Congress, building on the political commitment of Mediterranean riparian states (France, Monaco, Spain, Italy, Greece, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia , and Egypt) and partner organizations (European Union, UNEP / MAP, Union for the Mediterranean, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions).


PAMEx is based on four axes:

1. Increase ambition for preserving marine and coastal biodiversity in the Mediterranean

2. Promote and develop sustainable fishing to end overfishing by 2030

3. Redouble efforts to combat marine pollution, particularly so that no plastic is discharged into the Mediterranean by 2030

4. Promote maritime transport practices which protect the marine environment and combat climate change

Those axes are operationalized through 20 concrete actions.

The MEDFUND for marine protected areas

The MedFund is a fund that aims to improve the management of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean. The returns generated by the financial investments are used to provide grants to NGOs and national MPA management authorities in various Mediterranean countries (at this stage 2 in Morocco, 4 in Tunisia and 2 in Turkey).

Barely 7.4% of the Mediterranean basin is covered by marine protected areas. We should aim at reaching 30% coverage by 2030.

Some 62.5% of evaluated fish stocks in the Mediterranean are considered to be overfished. Restoring all fish stocks by 2030 is possible.

Each year, 600,000 tonnes of waste is dumped into the Mediterranean. Ending single-use plastic pollution is a priority.

The Mediterranean is warming 20% faster than the rest of the planet. The impact of shipping on climate warming in the Mediterranean must be reduced.


Find out more

This initiative relies on a process of informal consultation among several governments and various regional organizations in the Mediterranean, acting on the initiative of France, Monaco and Spain.

In order to facilitate the implementation of PAMEx, lead countries have been identified for each of the axes of the plan:

  • Monaco and Algeria for Axis 1
  • The European Union for Axis 2
  • Greece, Italy and Morocco for Axis 3
  • Egypt and France for Axis 4