The Mediterranean
The Mediterranean is characterised by a high diversity of species and ecosystems, highly productive lands and seas, a moderate climate, as well as a particular landscape and harmony between man and nature. Among the problems affecting the region are the rapid urbanisation of coastal zones, thus reducing the extent of natural areas; the modification of coastal landscapes; the increasing conflicts between the uses of land, water and other natural resources; the increasing loss of soil due to erosion, and the scarcity of water.

At the same time, the dumping of toxic substances on the shores and the over-exploitation of fisheries are posing a threat to the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the Mediterranean, a key tourist destination.

The Approach of Andalucia….
Considering the specific character of the region within the context of Europe, the Consejeria de Medio Ambiente (Junta de Andalucia) has supported the creation of a Mediterranean office ever since it joined the Union.

In response to pressing needs, and under the auspices of IUCN, the Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation was created with the financial support of the Consejeria de Medio Ambiente (Junta de Andalucia) and the Spanish Ministry of Environment. The office is located in the Parque Tecnologico de Andalucia in Malaga, Spain.

The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation
During the 2nd World Conservation Congress in Amman (Jordan), the members finalised the programme and on 5 December 2000 the IUCN Mediterranean office was inaugurated.

The Consejeria de Medio Ambiente, the Spanish Mininstry of Environment, and IUCN signed an agreement to support the functioning of the office and its programme.

 A Vision for the Mediterranean

“Sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation are promoted through cooperation and supported by shared values and culture”

The Goal of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation *

“To influence, encourage and assist Mediterranean societies in achieving both the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, and sustainable development.”

 * As defined in the 2000-2004 Mediterranean Strategy


IUCN has more than 160 members in the Mediterranean region:

  • Most states bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including Andorra, Jordan and Portugal which can be considered culturally and ecologically linked to the region
  • Government bodies
  • National and international NGOs

The Centre's Priorities

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Sustainable use of natural resources

The Mediterranean in figures

  • Age in its current form: 5 million years
  • Length of coastline: 46,000 kilometres
  • Sole natural exit: Strait of Gibraltar (15 km separate Europe and Africa)
  • Water inflow from the Atlantic: 1.5 million m3 per second
  • Estimated renewal period of Mediterranean sea water: 80 years
  • Average depth: 1,500 metres
  • Main crops: cereals, olives, vines
  • Commercial fish: approx.100 species
  • Countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus,  Egypt, France, FYROM, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Serbia,  Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey
  • Main rivers: Nile, Rhone, Po, Ebro
  • Mountain chains: Sierra Nevada, Alps, Dinaric Mountains, Rhodope Mountains and Taurus Mountains
  • Flora: 25,000 species (approx. half are endemic)
  • Marine fauna: 900 species
  • Coastal population: 40% (150 million people)
  • Mean annual population growth rate: 1.3%
  • Coastal tourism: 100 million people per year
  • Area covered by tourist facilities: 4,000 km2
  • Hotel beds: 40 million
  • Vehicles: 120 million
  • Length of major roads: 2.5 million km (of which 1.8 million in the north)
  • Marine traffic: 200,000 crossings per year, 2,000 ships at any one time (of which 300 tankers)
  • Waste waters disposed of untreated: 70-85 %
  • Main polluting industries: chemicals, refineries, metal production, mines, and leather
  • Petrol refineries: 60 which dump 20,000 tonnes of petrol per year into the sea
  • Thermal power stations: around 100
  • Energy consumption: 800-900 million toe (tonnes oil equivalent)
  • Risk of erosion: 50% of land area
  • Average annual area affected by fires each year: 200,000 hectares

Sources: IUCN - EU -OECD -UN - UNEP

Malaga: Venue for the Mediterranean Cooperation Centre

Malaga is at the centre of the Alboran Sea, near the Strait of Gibraltar and North Africa, with more than half a million inhabitants in the city alone.
Throughout its history, Malaga has been associated with the Mediterranean and its different cultures, and continues to receive the enriching influence of tourists and migrants.

Malaga is an important communication node with railways, maritime routes, and a major airport that links principal European capitals and North Africa with direct flights.

The Parque Tecnologico de Andalucia, the airport and the university form the powerhouse of Malaga.

The local agenda 21 "Green Chapter of Malaga", bases the development of the city around the paradigm of sustainable development with one objective: "to consolidate Malaga as a metropolitan city, a metropolis of high environmental quality, the economic and technological capital of Andalucia; main tourist destination for European leisure."

Our offices are located in Andalucia:

IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation
C/ Marie Curie 22, Edif. Habitec
Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía
29590 Campanillas, Málaga

Tel. + 34 952 028430