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04/20: Towards a new strategy for biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean


Launch of the planning of the Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of the Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean Region in the Post-2020 era, with a first online Advisory Committee meeting organized on April 2nd, 2020

Background and strategy

Barcelona Convention COP21 requested the Secretariat to prepare in 2020-2021 the Post-2020 Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean Region (Post-2020 SAPBIO), aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and harmonised with the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework through the optic of the Mediterranean context.

The request by COP21 was mainly based on the recommendations of the evaluation of the implementation of the SAPBIO during the period 2004-2018. The evaluation, that was conducted by SPA/RAC in close consultation with the Contracting Parties, concluded that the SAP BIO adopted in December 2003 played an important role as a strategic framework for implementation of the SPA/BD Protocol at national and regional levels in terms of harmonization and alignment of planning for biodiversity conservation. It also played a key role in facilitating exchanges among departments within and among countries on common concerns in biodiversity conservation.

The Post-2020 SAPBIO should be designed and perceived not as an additional layer of commitments for countries but rather as a tool to strengthen and streamline the implementation of the plans and strategies they have already adopted at national and international level. The new SAPBIO will also be in line with the new orientations and priorities that will be decided at global level in the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework expected to be adopted in October 2020 by the COP CBD, as well as the other relevant global and regional frameworks, such as the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Activities to be undertaken

While bringing a high level of ambitions, the Post-2020 SAPBIO will be action-oriented and made of activities tailored towards realistic objectives that countries could reasonably achieve with the coordination of relevant international organisations and the support of donors and funding agencies.

The activities to be undertaken for the elaboration of the Post-2020 SAPBIO will be implemented in three steps:

  • STEP 1: Identification of priorities and orientations, through a bottom up process with the Mediterranean Countries at national level. This phase will take place from February 2020 to July 2020.
  • STEP 2: Elaboration of the draft post-2020 SAPBIO, during the period between August 2020 and March 2021.
  • STEP 3: Adoption of the post-2020 SAPBIO. The strategy document will be reviewed by the SAPBIO Advisory Committee and National Correspondents and then submitted successively to the SPA/BD Focal Point meeting, MAP Focal Points meeting, and finally to the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention during their COP22 for adoption, in December 2021.

Advisory committee

While the process is coordinated by SPA/RAC, relevant international and regional organization are invited to take part in the elaboration of the new strategy from the early stages, through the SAPBIO Advisory Committee, in order to ensure an inclusive Post 2020 SAPBIO covering all Mediterranean stakeholders’ concerns and priorities.

The organizations invited to be members of the SAPBIO Advisory Committee are the following:


  • Mediterranean Action Plan / Coordinating Unit (MAP-CU)
  • UNEP Secretariat
  • Other MAP Components, i.e. INFO/RAC, MEDPOL, PAP/RAC, Plan Bleu/RAC, REMPEC, SCP/RAC
  • FAO
  • GFCM
  • Bern Convention/Council of Europe
  • IUCN Med
  • MedWet
  • EEA
  • MedPAN
  • Conservatoire du Littoral
  • WWF MedPO
  • CBD secretariat
  • CMS
  • UfM
  • MedECC

The first online meeting of the new SAPBIO Advisory Committee, was organized on April 2nd, 2020 to present and discuss the roadmap of the Post-2020 SAPBIO elaboration, and to collect views by the members on their possible contribution to the process.

The guidance elements for the design and orientations of the process for the elaboration of the Post-2020 SAPBIO are available here.

The meeting report is available here.