The 21 parties of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) began the signing process in Malta last week for the ‘Protocol concerning Co-operation in Preventing Pollution from Ships and, in cases of Emergency, Combating Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea’.

Launched on 25 January, the Protocol draws together 20 Mediterranean States and the European Community in a legally binding agreement aimed at reducing pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

The new protocol, once fully ratified, will replace an existing instrument completed in 1976 which was initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and focused primarily on regional co-operation and preparedness in response to maritime accidents. The latest Protocol, however, expands on this regional co-operation and focuses on other aspects related to pollution into the sea, in particular port reception facilities and environmental safety of maritime traffic.

INTERTANKO has been supportive of the initiative and highlighted the need to improve reception facilities in the area i.a. at a previous meeting in Malta hosted by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).

Contact: Tim Wilkins,