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MAP and Plan Bleu 

Conscious of their collective responsibility in an area which is common to them, the Mediterranean countries have undertaken actions destined to guarantee the future in a perspective of sustainable development.

These actions, to be effective, should be multilateral. Thus in 1975, the Barcelona Convention, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment (UNEP), invited Mediterranean countries to adopt a Mediterranean Action Plan (PAM).

The first programme devoted to a regional sea, its mandate was extended in 1995 to better take into account the close links between conservation and development. Moving into a new phase, referred to as MAP Phase II, it was renamed Action Plan for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Sustainable Development of the Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean.

The organization Plan Bleu was one of the players in this cooperative action. It has in particular been responsible for producing information and knowledge for the purpose of alerting deciders and stakeholders to the environmental risks and the issues of sustainable development in the Mediterranean. It has also outlined future scenarios to provide a well-informed basis for the decision making process.

-  To identify, collect and process on an ongoing basis environmental, economic and social information of use to stakeholders and decision makers.
-  To assess the interactions between environment and economic and social development in order to monitor progress towards sustainable development.
-  To conduct analyses and prospection studies to help build visions of the future and to provide support for decision-making.
- To broadcast and communicate the products and results in a form suited to the target audience.

Plan Bleu runs a research centre located at Sophia Antipolis (near Nice, S.E. France) managed by an association under French jurisdiction. The work of systemic and prospection analyses is carried out by a team of fifteen researchers calling on the support of a hundred or so Mediterranean experts each year. The budget is provided by all the Mediterranean countries and by the European Community under the MAP programme, as well as by a donation from France and subsidies provided by various international organizations.

A first report, providing scenarios up until 2025, Plan Bleu : Futures for the Mediterranean, was published in 1989. Since then, Plan Bleu has played the role of a Mediterranean observatory for the environment and development :
-  It supports the creation of national observatories, has strengthened environmental statistical capability through the MEDSTAT / Environment project, as part of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership launched in 1995, and has developed a set of indicators for sustainable development for the whole region ;
-  It publishes country profiles and a series of brochures (Ed. Economica) and booklets on themes such as water, ecosystems, islands, transport, energy, tourism, urbanisation, natural risks, etc.
- It carries out the prospective study of local projects for coastal development under the MAP.

Since 1995, in phase with the conclusions of the first Plan Bleu report, the MAP has refocused its aims, giving particular attention to coastal regions, and setting up a Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD). This MAP consultative body is designed as a forum for dialogue, exchanges of views and propositions for the definition of a Mediterranean Sustainable Development strategy (Slovenia 2005).

The Commission assembles, on an equal basis, representatives of Mediterranean countries and of the European Community, as well as representatives of local authorities, socio-economic stakeholders and non-governmental organizations qualified in matters of the environment and sustainable development. Plan Bleu has an active role as a support centre for this North-South regional structure.

This Mediterranean strategy constitutes a call for action to ensure the commitment of the regions to sustainable development in order to reinforce peace, stability and prosperity. It takes into account the weak points and dangers that weigh upon the Mediterranean region, but also the assets and opportunities. It also takes into consideration the great differences in the respective situations of the developed and developing countries.

-  to contribute to promoting economic development by valorising the Mediterranean’s assets,
-  to reduce social disparities by achieving the development objectives of the millennium and reinforcing cultural identities,
-  to change non-sustainable modes of production and consumption and ensure the sustainable management of natural resources,
-  to improve governance at local, national and regional scale.

-  the integrated management of resources and of requirements for water,
-  the more rational management of energy,
-  the increased use of renewable energy and adaptation, to the effects of climate change, while endeavouring to reduce them,
-  sustainable mobility, by means of appropriate management of transport,
-  sustainable tourism, a high-potential economic sector,
-  sustainable rural agricultural development, sustainable urban development,
-  sustainable development of the sea, the coast and marine resources.

In addition, the Mediterranean countries of the European Union, and countries which are candidates to join the EU (Turkey), come within the influence of the European Directives (Habitat, Natura 2000, Framework Directive on Water of 23 October 2000).

À consulter

- Plan Bleu :
- Mediterranean Action Plan :