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Framework strategies and policies

A number of framework strategies and policies on environment, sustainable development or adaptation to climate change are being developed at international level by the United Nations organizations and the European Union. 

Barcelona Convention

The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) and the Mediterranean Action Plan for the Barcelona Convention (MAP) under UNEP's umbrella are key policy references for the MED area.  The Barcelona Convention plays an important role in the Mediterranean region as a forum for sustainable development, though the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (MCSD), as well as a framework for cooperation in the management of common goods such as the sea. The Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management was signed in Madrid in 2008.

Among the strategic documents:
- Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (2005)
- Blue Plan Sustainable Development Outlook for the Mediterranean (2008)

- ICZM Protocol  and the interesting Analysis of the ICZM protocol, IDDRI (2010)

More information on the work carried out in the frame of the Barcelona  Convention can be found on the following websites:
Mediterranean Action Plan
Blue Plan Regional Activity Centre (Environment and Development)
Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre  (Coastal Management Centre)

EU Adaptation policy

On 29 June 2007, the European Commission has adopted its first policy document on adapting to the impacts of climate change. This Green Paper "adaptation to climate change in Europe - options for EU action", builds upon the work and findings of the European Climate Change Programme. 

Concerning the water sector and integrated coastal zone management the Green Paper indicates:

"The Water Framework Directive provides a consistent framework for integrated water esources management. It does not however address climate change directly. The challenge will be to incorporate measures to cope with climate change as part of its implementation, starting with the first planning cycle for 2009. In particular, economic instruments and the user pays principle should be applied across all sectors, including households, transport, energy, agriculture, and tourism. This will provide strong incentives to reduce water consumption and increase efficiency of use.

"The Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Recommendation calls for a strategic approach to coastal planning and management. Coastal zones are increasingly exposed to climate change risks and should be a major focus of mitigation and adaptation measures. A coherent and integrated approach to coastal planning and management should provide a context for synergies and address potential inconsistencies between economic development of coastal zones and necessary adaptation to climate change. Guidance should be given for planning and management, and the best principles and practices should be applied when developing approaches and strategies. "

As a next step, in April 2009 the European Commission presented the policy paper known as a White Paper which presents the framework for adaptation measures and policies to reduce the European Union's vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

More information on the EC work on adaptation:  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/adaptation/index_en.htm

CIRCLE MED policy issues

A preliminary analysis of the research projects was done to identify the Climate Change Impact and Adaptation policy issues to which the projects will provide guidance and inputs to policy makers. The identified issues may be directly linked to management, or to policy objectives. For example, the achievement of a good ecological status of water is an objective of the Water Framework Directive.

Impact issues: Ecological Status of Water, Ecological Response to Climate Change, Socio-Economic Response to Climate Change;
Adaptation issues: Integrated water management, regional planning, risks management/vulnerability assessment, stakeholders participation, coastal ecosystem management, water use efficiency in agriculture, aquaculture management.

Use Policy Issues option list on the Top Left of the screen to see projects and resources linked to the identified policy issues.