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The Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD)

The creation in 1996 of the MCSD by the Contracting Parties conveys their commitment to sustainable development and to the effective implementation, at the regional and national levels, of the decisions of the Earth Summit and the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development.

The MCSD is made up of 40 members: 22 permanent, representing each of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, as well as 18 rotating representatives from wider community (local authorities, the business community, NGOs, scientific community, intergovernmental organisations and eminent experts), that in principle have a mandate of 2 years.

The MCSD dwells upon the assessment of major sustainable development issues of common concern to the countries of the region or set out in international and regional agendas. It makes relevant proposals and recommendations to the Contracting Parties.

The MCSD provides a bridge between, on the one hand, the global and regional frameworks and, on the other hand, the national policies and actions at the local levels. The MCSD also enhances cooperation between the countries of the region and allows synergies between the MAP system and other institutions and initiatives concerning the region.

The MCSD physically meets on a biannual basis. Between two meetings, dedicated working groups explore and debate on specific sustainable development issues of relevance to the region, thereby implementing the biannual MCSD programme of work.

The MAP Coordination Unit ensures the role of MCSD Secretariat and coordinates the different working groups on a permanent basis. The MAP Regional Activity Centres and specialised programmes provide technical and organisational support according to their respective domains of responsibility.

In addition to the recommendations presented to the Contracting Parties on specific Mediterranean challenges - e.g. energy and climate change; information and communication; integrated coastal management; management of water demand, marine pollution; sustainable development indicators; sustainable tourism; trade agreements; urban development; etc. - the MCSD has provided major inputs to the formulation of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) and spearheads its implementation at the country level.

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