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02/21: Sub-regional workshops for the elaboration of the Post-2020 SAPBIO


UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC is organizing 4 workshops to be held from 26 February to 16 March, to identify the priorities for each Mediterranean subregion. The post-2020 SAPBIO process has so far mobilized more than 320 national experts and partners in its national consultation phase



In 2003, the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention adopted during the COP13 the “Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean Region” (SAPBIO). For more than 15 years, the SAPBIO served as a strategic framework for implementation of the SPA/BD Protocol. A new strategy “Post-2020 Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in the Mediterranean Region” is now being prepared by UNEP/MAP-SPA/RAC, as requested by the Barcelona Convention COP21, to replace the previous one. This strategy will be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and harmonised with the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework through the optic of the Mediterranean context.

All the riparian countries that are signatories to the Barcelona Convention are participating in the development of the new strategy. It is a bottom-up process, starting with national consultations involving national stakeholders and experts from the 21 Mediterranean countries, and ending with the submission of the Post-2020 SAPBIO for consideration by the Contracting Parties at their 22nd Meeting (COP 22).


Since February 2020, SPA/RAC elaborated a guidance document on the elaboration process of the Post-2020 SAPBIO, in consultation with several regional and global organizations members of the SAPBIO Advisory Committee, which has an advisory role throughout the process, and will intervene in particular in the revision of the post-2020 SAPBIO. Then, national reports have been prepared by the Contracting Parties with the assistance of SPA/RAC through the recruitment of national experts of each country, to identify the current challenges related to biodiversity conservation and living resources at national level. Following this process, several national online workshops have been organized by the SPA/RAC to discuss the national priorities and orientations.

The current step within the Post 2020 SAPBIO elaboration consists to identify common orientations and priorities for each sub-region and will focus on the issues that require synergistic and coordinated action at sub-regional or regional level, such as climate change mitigation, the control of biological invasions, or the monitoring and assessment of the marine environment status. 

Sub-regional activity objectives:


To recall, the four Mediterranean subregions considered are those defined by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (cf. Roadmap for the application of the Ecosystem Approach) for practical reasons and given the fact that they present a conglomerate of linked coastal and marine ecosystems, with many shared resources, species and common approaches to environmental management. In the final strategy (the Post-2020 SAPBIO), the recommendations will not be split up by sub-regions.

The four Mediterranean subregions considered to upscale the regional SAPBIO elaboration

After the sub-regional consultations, the draft Post-2020 SAPBIO will be developed through the compilation of outputs from national processes and sub-regional consultations. It will indicate the objectives to achieve at the regional level and will integrate the priority actions identified at the national and sub-regional levels. In addition, it will propose the actions needed at the regional level to support, accompany and coordinate the execution of the priority actions to be implemented by the countries at the national level.