The mediterranean sea we want

Margherita Cappelletto, Rosalia Santoleri, Lorenza Evangelista, Francois Galgani, Esther Garcés, Alessandra Giorgetti, Fabio Fava, Barak Herut, Karim Hilmi, Suzan Kholeif, Stefano Lorito, Cherif Sammari, Mónica Campillos Lianos, Mauro Celussi, Domenico D’alelio, Fedra Francocci, Giordano Giorgi, Donata Melaku Canu, Emanuele Organelli, Angela PomaroGianmaria Sannino, Margarita Segou, Simona Simoncelli, Andrey Babeyko, Andrea Barbanti, Denis Chang-Seng, Vanessa Cardin, Raffaella Casotti, Aldo Drago, Souha El Asmi, Dina Eparkhina, Michèle Fichaut, Tatjiana Hema, Gabriele Procaccini, Francesca Santoro, Michael Scoullos, Cosimo Solidoro, Fabio Trincardi, Leonardo Tunesi, Georg Umgiesser, Adriana Zingone, Tosca Ballerini, Amel Chaffai, Giovanni Coppini, Sieglinde Gruber, Jelena Knezevic, Gaetano Leone, Jerneja Penca, Nadia Pinardi, George Petihakis, Marie Helen Rio, Mohamed Said, Zacharias Siokouros, Abdellah Srour, Maria Snoussi, Joaquín Tintoré, Vassiliki Vassilopoulou, Marco Zavatarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents major gaps and challenges for implementing the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) in the Mediterranean region. The authors make recommendations on the scientific knowledge needs and co-design actions identified during two consultations, part of the Decade preparatory-phase, framing them in the Mediterranean Sea’s unique environmental and socio-economic perspectives. According to the ‘Mediterranean State of the Environment and Development Report 2020’ by the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan and despite notable progress, the Mediterranean region is not on track to achieve and fully implement the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030. Key factors are the cumulative effect of multiple human-induced pressures that threaten the ecosystem resources and services in the global change scenario. The basin, identified as a climate change vulnerability hotspot, is exposed to pollution and rising impacts of climate change. This affects mainly the coastal zones, at increasing risk of extreme events and their negative effects of unsustainable management of key economic assets. Transitioning to a sustainable blue economy is the key for the marine environment’s health and the nourishment of future generations. This challenging context, offering the opportunity of enhancing the knowledge to define science-based measures as well as narrowing the gaps between the Northen and Southern shores, calls for a joint (re)action. The paper reviews the state of the art of Mediterranean Sea science knowledge, sets of trends, capacity development needs, specific challenges, and recommendations for each Decade’s societal outcome. In the conclusions, the proposal for a Mediterranean regional programme in the framework of the Ocean Decade is addressed. The core objective relies on integrating and improving the existing ocean-knowledge, Ocean Literacy, and ocean observing capacities building on international cooperation to reach the “Mediterranean Sea that we want”.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21031
JournalOcean and Coastal Research
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The authors.


  • Co-design
  • Marine science
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Ocean Decade
  • Sustainable Development Goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography


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