At their Eleventh Ordinary Meeting, the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols recommended giving high priority to promoting the management of marine protected areas and to identifying marine sites containing sensitive, threatened or rare habitats with a view to establishing marine protected areas
This project, receiving funding from the European community through the SMAP Programme, is aimed at assisting the Mediterranean countries to strengthen conservation and the sustainable management of the elements that make up the Mediterranean marine and coastal biological diversity.
For each country having already marine protected areas on its Mediterranean coast, the project makes provisions for the undertaking of pilot actions aimed to elaborate and initiate the implementation of a management plan of one marine protected area. For countries, which have not yet established marine protected areas on their Mediterranean coasts, the project makes provisions for identifying sites that contain habitats of interest with a view to elaborating a national plan for the development of marine protected areas.
The Project will elaborate: (i) 6 management plans of marine protected areas and will initiate their implementation; (ii) 2 national plans for the development of marine protected areas. Furthermore, 4 national workshops and 1 regional training seminar will be organised and 2 technical guides will be produced and disseminated.
The project will be carried out in the following countries :
Country Region City or area
Algeria The north-eastern coast El Kala
Cyprus The marine coastal zone  
Israel The northern Mediterranean coast The Rosh Hanikra area
Malta The north-west coast of Malta The marine area between Rdum Majjiesa and Ras Raheb
Morocco The Mediterranean coastal zone The Al Hoceima area
Syria The coastal zone The Oum Toyour area
Tunisia The Gulf of Tunis The Zembra & Zembretta Islands