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SEMPA Project


Bolstering Mediterranean biodiversity and MCPAs for nature (SEMPA Project)

Total Duration :

48 months : 2023-2027


The SEMPA project builds on:

  • The lessons learned in the MedPartnership, MedMPA Network and IMAP-MPA projects to support MCPAs to replicate results and best practices, whilst moving at the same time towards a more operational phase where stakeholders are fully engaged in decision-making processes and where MCPAs play effectively their ecological, social and economic roles; and
  • The outputs of the EU-funded IMAP-MPA project, ended in August 2023, along with the ongoing and close to termination (February 2024) EU-funded EcAp MED III and ML MED II projects which have resulted in the implementation of national integrated monitoring programmes in line with regional IMAP common indicators in all SEMPA project beneficiary countries.
Project Overall Objective (Impact)

The Overall Objective of the project is to protect the biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea and support the achievement of its Good Environmental Status (GES). This will be achieved through a connected, ecologically representative, effectively managed and monitored network of MCPAs, based on a gender-responsive approach, as well as through the setting up of mechanisms which ensure reliable, regionally agreed assessment of the IMAP biodiversity and hydrography aspects. As such, the project will provide a significant contribution towards achieving a high level of sustainable development in this region.


SPA/RAC main activities within this project:

  • Support on the identification and designation of new MCPA, elaboration of MCPA management plans and provision of support to initiate their effective implementation.
  • Improvement of existing MCPA management through capacity building and the  implementation of their management plans.
  • Organization of the 4th edition of the Forum of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean.
  • Support provided to the development of the IMAP toward the integration of climate change, biodiversity and hydrography related indicators and indicators related to pressures and drivers, in synergy with H2020 indicators.
  • Integrated monitoring in identified pilot sites for biodiversity, NIS and hydrography common indicators.
  • National experts trained on IMAP implementation and best practices exchanged amongst IMAP implementation stakeholders at the national, sub-regional and regional level.
Geographical scope and countries involved

Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, with a focus on Southern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan1, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine1 and Tunisia).


  • Jordan and Palestine, which are not Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, will participate in activities related to exchange of best practices and/or regional capacity building.
Target groups:

MPA managers, practitioners and relevant authorities and stakeholders in the countries concerned by the project.


The project is coordinated UNEP/MAP Secretariat and implemented by UNEP/MAP Secretariat, theRegional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (SPA/RAC) and the Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre (PAP/RAC).


The SEMPA project is funded by European Union (EU) – the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) through the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instruments (NDICI): Regional South Neighbourhood for 2021-2023 financial instrument.

Learn More:

Further information can be found on the project webpage on the UNEP/MAP website.


For more information on the SEMPA Project, please contact

MPAs Projects Officer

Wassim GAIDI
MPAs projects Associate Officer

Yassine-Ramzi SGHAIER
Ecosystem Approach projects officer