The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas has been recognized as a Flagship Initiative under the Mediterranean Strategy on Sustainable Development (MSSD) 2016-2025, adopted during the 19th Convention of the Parties of the Barcelona Convention, held in Athens from the 9th to the 11th of February.
The new Strategy recognizes Mediterranean Protected Areas at risk from insufficient spatial coverage, planning, management and funding. Under these conditions the MSSD calls for programmes that strengthen the protection of biodiversity and the actual management of Protected Areas and the promotion of national and regional networking processes.
To answer these requirements, the Strategy, endorsed by 21 Mediterranean countries plus the European Union, supported the promotion of the “IUCN Green list” initiative in the Mediterranean basin to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of park management bodies in the riparian countries.
“We are proud the MSSD recognized the importance of an instrument like the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas as an indicator of their performance in the region” says James Hardcastle, coordinator of the initiative at IUCN.
The objective of the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas is to improve the contribution that protected areas make to sustainable development through the conservation of nature and provision of associated social, economic, cultural, and spiritual values. The Green List operates with a Standard that had been tested in 2014 during its Pilot phase and it is now entering its Development phase, involving more countries and protected areas.
“This recognition could not have happened” continues Hardcastle “without the support and collaboration of the countries that firstly pioneered the Green List system in the region, being France, Italy and Spain, working with the help of IUCN National committees and IUCN members and under the coordination of the IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation”.
Between 2013 and 2014, the Green List was tested in 10 countries including Italy, France and Spain and during last IUCN World Park Congress held in Sydney November 2014, 24 of the tested sites were awarded the “Green List recognition”, 8 of which located in the 3 Mediterranean countries: Gran Paradiso National Park (italy); Doñana Natural Space (Spain); Espacio Natural de Sierra Nevada (Spain); Natural Marine Park of Iroise (France); Pyrénées National Park (France); Marine natural reserve of Cerbère-Banyuls (France); Sensitive Natural Area « Marais d’Episy » (France); Guadeloupe National Park (France – Overseas territory).
“Mediterranean Governments can now leverage the Green list of Protected and Conserved Areas and account for accomplishment of MSSD strategic directions” says Antonio Troya, director of the IUCN Centre for Mediterraneancooperation “It is an important step for ensuring a coherent and accountable conservation of natural resources in the area”.
IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation, with the support of IUCN National Committees and members, is committed in supporting the Green List initiative in its development phase and will continue promoting the adaption of the standard in other Mediterranean countries in the region.

Auteur : Carla Danelutti (Carla.DANELUTTI@iucn.org)