The Mediterranean region is undergoing intensive demographic, social, cultural, economic and environmental changes. Population growth combined with the growth of coastal (peri) urban hubs generates multiple environmental pressures stemming from increased demand for water and energy resources, generation of air and water pollution in relation to wastewater discharge or sewage overflows, waste generation, land consumption and degradation of habitats, unsustainable use of living resources, landscapes and coastlines. These pressures are further amplified by tourism, often concentrated in Mediterranean coastal areas, and overall by climate change.

As mentioned in the Introduction, the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) 2016-2025 provides an integrative policy framework and a strategic guiding document for all stakeholders and partners to translate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the regional, sub regional and national levels (see Figure 3.1). This is achieved through common objectives, strong involvement of all stakeholders, cooperation, solidarity, equity and participatory governance. 34 indicators have been agreed in relation to the following 6 objectives:

  1. Ensuring sustainable development in marine and coastal areas
  2. Promoting resource management, food production and food security through sustainable forms of rural development
  3. Planning and managing sustainable Mediterranean cities
  4. Addressing climate change as a priority issue for the Mediterranean
  5. Transition towards a green and blue economy
  6.  Improving governance in support of sustainable Development

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — entered into force in 2016 and in recognition of the growing importance of the role of oceans in sustainable development, Goal 14 is to Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

Figure 2.1
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals