Barcelona Convention


Jump to: navigation, search

Convention Name

Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention)


The 1976 Barcelona Convention for Protection against Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea is a regional convention to prevent and abate pollution from ships, aircraft and land based sources in the Mediterranean Sea. This includes, but is not limited to, dumping, run-off and discharges. Signers agreed to cooperate and assist in dealing with pollution emergencies, monitoring and scientific research. The convention was last amended in 1995. The Barcelona Convention and its protocols, together with the Mediterranean Action Plan, form part of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme.

The key goal of the convention is to "reduce pollution in the Mediterranean Sea and protect and improve the marine environment in the area, thereby contributing to its sustainable development". Additional main objectives include;

  • to assess and control marine pollution
  • to ensure sustainable management of natural marine and coastal resources;
  • to integrate the environment in social and economic development;
  • to protect the marine environment and coastal zones through prevention and reduction of pollution, and as far as possible, elimination of pollution, whether land or sea-based;
  • to protect the natural and cultural heritage;
  • to strengthen solidarity among Mediterranean coastal States;
  • to contribute to improvement of the quality of life.


Originally, in 1976, fourteen states (contracting parties) and the European Union signed the convention. During the review in 1995 all parties signed again. It came in effect on February 12, 1978. The 1995 amendments have yet to be ratified by all members. Members are all countries with a Mediterranean shoreline as well as the European Union. NGOs with a stated interest and third party governments are allowed observer status.



See also

Water-related Legislation and Conventions

Full text of the Convention

External resources

UNEP Regional Seas Programme: Barcelona Convention

UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan, Barcelona Convention

EUROPE: Barcelona Convention, Protecting the Mediterranean Sea


 Barcelona Convention.pdf

5274 Rating: 2.0/5 (23 votes cast)