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In 1995, the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention adopted a new protocol concerning the Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean (SPA/BD Protocol). The IInd Annex of this protocol lists the endangered or threatened species found in the Mediterranean, including marine and coastal bird species.

An “Action Plan for the conservation of bird species listed in Annex II of the Protocol on Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity” was elaborated for these pelagic and coastal bird species and published in 2003. Its elaboration follows various initiatives taken by other organizations, such as BirdLife, International partners in Mediterranean countries, WWF, IUCN, MEDMARAVIS, Tour du Valat, on the conservation of biological diversity, particularly with respect to birds, and their habitats.


The main purpose of the Action Plan is to maintain and/or restore the population levels of bird species listed in the SPA Protocol's Annex II to a favorable conservation status and to ensure their long-term conservation. The Action Plan aims also to contribute to the sharing of knowledge and expertise between the Mediterranean countries and coordinate efforts among the countries and other relevant initiatives and agreements. It also encourages a synergic approach among the Mediterranean countries in the protection of bird species and their habitats and research to fill knowledge gaps.


The Action Plan proposes practical conservation measures in the field but also administrative, legislative and scientific measures. The action plan proposes many actions under the topics:

  • Protected areas
  • Legislation
  • Research
  • Monitoring activities
  • Advocacy, awareness raising, education and training
  • National Action Plans


In accordance with articles 14 and 16 of the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean, a list comprising 10 new species of marine and coastal birds to be included in Annex II of the protocol was adopted by the 16th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols, held from the 3rd to the 5th of November 2009 in Marrakech (Morocco).

An Updated Timetable of the Action Plan for the conservation of Bird species listed in Annex II to the SPA/BD Protocol was elaborated for the period 2014-2019.

An Updated Action Plan for the conservation of Bird species listed in Annex II to the SPA/BD Protocol was adopted in 2017 during the COP20 to include specific actions for the 10 new species added in 2009.

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