Despite representing less than 1% of the world’s ocean surface, the Mediterranean Sea is home to up to 18% of the planet’s marine species. The decline of Posidonia Oceanica (an endemic seagrass species known as the “lungs of the Mediterranean”), overfishing, non-indigenous species are among the symptoms of environmental degradation. Marine and coastal ecosystems are reeling under pressure from the unsustainable pursuit of economic growth. This pressure is illustrated by the challenges of marine litter and pollution and further compounded by the rising impacts of climate change. A United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) report produced by Plan Bleu, a UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre, provides the most comprehensive assessment of the state of the environment and development in the region and includes a set of key messages that can inform an adequate policy response. The report was prepared under the Barcelona Convention, the Contracting Parties of which are 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union.
State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean