Blue plan

Sources: http://www.planbleu.org/indexUK.html

On his official website, the Blue Plan is defined as « an international center to be responsible, within a framework of regional cooperation, to generate information and knowledge in order to alert policy makers and actors on environmental issues and sustainable development in the Mediterranean and to draw futures for the decision.»

Background

The countries bordering the Mediterranean, under the aegis of United Nations environment, adopted a Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean and launched an Action Plan for its implementation in Barcelona in 1975. The implementation of the project was initially entrusted to the French association MEDEAS and the scientific management of work was based on a « Coordination and Synthesis Group, » designated by the Executive Director of UNEP. In 1979, MEDEAS was designated as the Regional Activity Center. From 1980 to 1984, the Coordination and Synthesis Group conducted a reconnaissance phase based on twelve studies carried out each time by two experts, one from the South and one from the North of the Mediterranean. However, because of difficulties in management, UNEP and the French authorities had to dissolve MEDEAS in 1984. Michel Batisse, former Assistant Director-General of UNESCO, created a new association to ensure a good project management and to lead the Blue Plan towards the dedication to the publication of a report.

Mission

An intergovernmental meeting held in Split in 1977 established the Blue Plan mandate, specifically assigning it with:

  • « putting at the disposal of political leaders and decision-makers all information that will enable them to develop plans likely to ensure sustained optimal socio-economic development without degrading the environment »
  • « helping governments of coastal states in the Mediterranean region to increase their knowledge of the joint problems they have to face, both in the Mediterranean Sea and in their coastal areas ».

Since 1990 the Blue Plan’s prospective work has been developed along the following main lines:

  • the updating of certain Mediterranean scenarios that can orient the political choices and action in the region;
  • the study of problems and developments relating to certain economic activities and certain components of the environment;
  • the construction of scenarios in the framework of the Coastal Area Management Programmes (especially in Turkey, Greece, Tunisia and presently in Malta);
  • the organisation and conduct of international workshops on the systemic and prospective methods and tools applicable to the coastal regions;
  • the co-operation with a network of local experts in the Mediterranean countries.

Mediterranean countries and the European Community have asked the Blue Plan to strengthen its information and observation system for the situations and trends in developmental/environmental relations in the Basin and its coastal regions. In this respect, in 1993 with support from the European Commission, the Blue Plan developed its function as a « Mediterranean Environment and Development Observatory » (MEDO). Integrated into the other Blue Plan activities, this function implies:

  • re-enforcing the Blue Plan’s capacities in the environmental sector;
  • the working out of indicators taking into account developments and adapted to the follow-up of the implementation of Agenda 21 in the Mediterranean;
  • analysis of the institutions as well as of the national policies aimed at sustainable development in the region;
  • development of the statistical, geographical and documentary information-system to improve access to significant data;
  • co-operation with a network of scientific partners and international and national bodies active in the Mediterranean;
  • support for the creation of national observatories

For more information about Blue Plan’s orientations :

About strategic orientations, read: http://www.planbleu.org/publications/DOS_EN.pdf

About intervention framework 2007/2015: http://www.planbleu.org/publications/CIS_2007-2015_UK.pdf