It has been over 40 years since the establishment of the Mediterranean Action Plan as the first UN Environment Regional Sea Programme and the adoption of the Barcelona Convention. During these four decades, monitoring and assessment of the marine and coastal environment have been central to the mandate of the MAP system, contributing to an ever deeper understanding of key thematic issues related to the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment. More than 170 MAP Technical Reports between 1986 and 2008, the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) of 2003 and the Initial Integrated Ecosystem Approach assessment in 2011 are just examples of the numerous products developed by the system. In the last 5 years, assessment reports include the State of the Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Environment of 2012, the Horizon 2020 joint EEA-UNEP/MAP Mediterranean report of 2014, the Marine Litter Assessment in the Mediterranean of 2015 and many other thematic assessments on climate change, biodiversity, coastal zones, and related fields.

These products have been based on available information; the challenge has always been on how to ensure comparable and quality assured data. Data on all aspects of pollution, biodiversity and coastal zone has been mostly limited to local and national assessments and often not comparable. A key milestone towards achieving an integrated monitoring programme for the Mediterranean was the adoption in 2016 of the Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP), the result of work spanning over 3 years and involving scientific experts and all Mediterranean countries. IMAP is based on the ecosystem approach, its Ecological Objectives for the Mediterranean, and its indicators. IMAP is a very ambitious step now in its initial stages of implementation and requires deep commitment and complex work from the Mediterranean countries to revise their national monitoring programmes and ensure regular reporting of data to UN Environment/MAP.

In the context of implementing the Ecosystem Approach Roadmap adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention in 2008, the MAP system has now delivered the first ever Quality Status Report for the Mediterranean (2017 MED QSR). This is the first assessment product based on the MAP Ecological Objectives and IMAP indicators; it builds upon existing data and is complimented with inputs from numerous diverse sources where appropriate.

The 2017 MED QSR is an important and innovative development for assessing the status of the Mediterranean ecosystem and the achievement of Good Environmental Status (GES). Despite the challenges met, given the limited availability of data and the fact that the IMAP implementation is still at an early phase, the 2017 MED QSR brings together national data and information to the regional level. It also contributes to the ongoing work at the global level, including the Regional Process on a Second World Ocean Assessment and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially its ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals.

The report is available online to ensure that it can be easily accessed and read by experts, policy makers and the public. It will serve as the baseline for defining the measures for progressing towards GES in the Mediterranean and sharpening the monitoring programmes needed to fill the existing gaps.

As IMAP is implemented and a more complete data-base is established, regular thematic reports will be developed in the coming years, based more and more on quantitative rather than qualitative information. These include the 2019 State of Environment Report and the next Quality Status Report in 2023. We are confident that this progressive assessment products will provide a detailed analysis of the state of the Mediterranean marine and coastal ecosystem, and identify the key areas of national and regional action in order to achieve the Good Environmental Status of our Sea.

I am glad to introduce the delivery of the 2017 MED QSR as a very significant achievement of the MAP system, and the result of joint and integrated efforts of the Contracting Parties, Partners, and the Secretariat with the MAP Components.


Gaetano Leone

Gaetano Leone
UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan Barcelona Convention Secretariat



The 2017 Quality Status Report (QSR 2017) was realized under the aegis of the United Nations Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan (UN Environment/MAP).

The UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan wishes to thank:

All members and experts of the Correspondence Group’s (CORMONs) on Biodiversity and Fisheries, Coast and Hydrography, and Pollution and Marine Litter for providing guidance, information and data sources and review of the draft QSR2017, as well as the EcAp Coordination Group for overall guidance. A full list of names of additional individuals involved in the assessment process is included below.

The experts who prepared the QSR 2017 Case Studies from Croatia, France, Israel, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Tunisia and Turkey, as well as the contributions from EMODNET-Chemistry and the DeFishGear project.

Regional organizations and partners for their contribution including Miguel Bernal from the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), Cécile Roddier-Quefelec and Ana Tejedor from the European Environment Agency (EEA), Simonetta Fraschetti and Simone Panigada from the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea (ACCOBAMS), Gail Schofield from Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles (MEDASSET), Georg Hanke from the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), and Jose Manuel Arcos from SEO BirdLife, in addition to several national technical institutes and universities.

The UN Environment/MAP Secretariat and Components team who supported the preparation of the 2017 Quality Status Report (QSR 2017): Jelena Knezevic, Virginie Hart, Carlos Guitart, Christos Ioakeimidis and Robert Precali (MEDPOL); Mehdi Aissi, Asma Yahyaoui, Atef Ouerghi, Lobna Ben Nakhla, Daniel Cebrian and Khalil Attia (SPA/RAC); Franck Lauwers and Gabino Gonzalez (REMPEC); Ivan Sekovski, Olivier Brivois, Giordano Giorgi, Marko Prem and Zeljka Skaricic (PAP/RAC); Jean-Pierre Giraud (Plan Bleu); and for the overall coordination, Gaetano Leone, Tatjana Hema, Jelena Knezevic, Virginie Hart, Christos Ioakeimidis, Gyorgyi Gurban and for editing, Virginie Hart.

GRID-Geneva and the University of Geneva for the development of the online report and visuals in particular Pascal Peduzzi, Yaniss Guigoz and Cédric Gampert.

Additional Review and contributors

(excluding the authors of the case studies, already named in the QSR2017 Case Studies)

EcAp Coordination Group

Mohamed Shehab Abdel Wahab, Egypt; Samer Al Hachem, Lebanon; Mohamed Ali Ben Temessek, Tunisia; Mohamed Sghaier Ben Jeddou, Tunisia; Mitja Bricelj, Slovenia; Selma Cengic, Bosnia & Herzegovina; Tidiani Couma, Monaco; Muhammet Ecel, Turkey; Victor Escobar, Spain; Ali Ragab Elkekli, Libya; Rachid Firadi, Morocco; Samira Hamidi, Algeria; Charalambos Hajipakkos, Cyprus; Tarik Kupusovic, Bosnia & Herzegovina; Marijana Mance Kowalsky, European Commission; Camilleri Marguerite, Malta; Klodiana Marika, Albania; Nikolaos Mavrakis; Greece; Tamara Micallef, Malta; Oliviero Montanaro, Italy; Nadim Mroueh, Lebanon;  Mohamed Osman, Egypt; Nassira Rheyati, Morocco; Ayelet Rosen, Israel; Maria del Sagrario Arrieta Algarra, Spain; Barbara Škevin Ivoševic, Croatia; Ivana Stojanovic, Montenegro; Isabelle Terrier, France; Sandra Trošelj Stanišic, Croatia; and Nazli Yenal, Turkey

Pollution and Marine Litter CORMON members and participants

Abdelslam Abid, Morocco; Admir Aladžuz, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Mahmoud Abd Allah Sedek Ahmed, Egypt; Silvamina Alshabani, Albania; Rani Amir, Israel; Bruno Andral, France; Konstantinos Antoniadis, Cyprus; Frederic Arzoine, Israel; Sameh Ayoub, Egypt; Lorenza Babbini, Italy; Angela Bartolo, Malta; Fatma Bekhit, Egypt; Marion Besançon, France; Souad Boustila, Algeria; Jose Luis Buceta Miller, Spain; Mohamed B Chirgawi, Libya; Lasaad Chouba, Tunisia; Françoise Claro, France; Stefania Di Vito, Italy; Mohamed Elbouch, Morocco; Maria Cristina Fossi, Italy; François Galgani, France; Jesus Gago, Spain; Iakovos Ganoulis, Greece; Sabine Ghosn, Lebanon; Naima Ghalem, Algeria; Olivia Gerigny, France; Giordano Giorgi, Italy; Juan Gil Gamundi, Spain; Olfat Hamdan, Lebanon; Jabri Hamdi, Tunisia; Mohamed Salem Hamouda, Libya; Georg Hanke, European Commission Joint Research Centre; Ioannis Hatzianestis, Greece; Hassan Hoteit, Lebanon; Samir Kaabi, Tunisia; Manca Kovac Virsek, Slovenia; Jelena Knezevic, Montenegro; Víctor Manuel Leon, Spain; Amany Mahmoud, Egypt; Milica Mandic, Montenegro; Klodiana Marika, Albania; Marta Martínez-Gil Pardo de Vera, Spain;  Tamara Micallef, Malta; Simone Milanolo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Ana Misurovic, Montenegro; Aourell Mauffret, France; Menhaouara Mohammed, Algeria; Nassir Naser Bsher, Libya; Moulay Lahcen Ouahidi, Morocco; Yael Segal Rozenberg, Israel; Noha Sami, Egypt; Hacer Selamoglu Caglayan, Turkey; Mladen Solic, Croatia; Mustafa Soliman, Libya; Maria Teresa Spedicato, Italy; Valentina Turk, Slovenia; Pero Tutman, Croatia; Jorge Ureta Maeso, Spain; Thomais Vlachogianni, MIO-ECSDE; Nazli Yenal, Turkey; Fatima Zohra Bouthir, Morocco; Naoual Zoubair, Morocco; and Dror Zurel, Israel;

Biodiversity and NIS CORMON members and participants

Reda Aboumoustafa, Egypt; Silvamina Alshabani, Albania; Admir Aladzuz, Bosnia And Herzegovina; Francisco Alemany, Spain; Ludovic Aquilina, Monaco; Maria Sagrario Arrieta Algarra, Spain; Matthieu Authier, France; Emine Aydar, Turkey; Milena Bataković, Montenegro; Leila Ben Abdeladhim, Tunisia; Ibrahim Ben Amer, Libya; Anna Cheilari, European Commission; Tina Centrih Genov, Slovenia; Laura Diaz, Spain; Moustafa Fouda, Egypt; Gilbert Gauci, Malta; Roberto Giangreco, Italy; Niyazi Can Gökçinar, Turkey; Laurent Guerin, France; Katja Jelik, Croatia; Maria Isabel Lopez, Spain; Borut Mavrič, Slovenia; Jorge Alonso Rodriguez, Spain; Lara Samaha, Lebanon; Esmail Shakman, Libya; Evangelia Stamouli, Greece; Nir Stern, Israel; Leonardo Tunesi, Italy; and Ruth YAHEL, Israel;

Coast and Hydrography CORMON members and participants

Rosa Balbín-Chamorro, Spain; Reda Behlouli, Algeria; Edvin Bica, Albania; Matteo Braida, Italy; Luka Ćalić, Montenegro; Igor Čižmek, Croatia; Laura Diaz, Spain; Senida Džajić-Rghei, Bosnia & Herzegovina; Mohammed El Bouch, Morocco; Giordano Giorgi, Italy; Tutku Gökalp, Turkey; Mokhtar Guerfi, Algeria; Maayan Haim, Israel; Bilal Ismail, Lebanon; Gordana Kovačević, Croatia; Jelena Knezevic, Montenegro; Branko Petričević, Croatia; Mary Rampavila, Greece; lda Shahu, Albania; Evangelia Stamouli, Greece; Adel Yaacoub, Lebanon; Naoual Zoubair, Morocco; Dov Zviely, Israel;