What is the award about?

The Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award was created in the framework of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD 2016-2025) as one of its flagship initiatives. The Award was established by virtue of COP 19 Decision IG.22/19 with the aim of recognizing the efforts of local authorities in promoting sustainable development in Mediterranean coastal cities.

The Award recognizes the role and contributions of cities and local authorities in fulfilling the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention system’s vision for a healthy Mediterranean Sea and coast.

The call for applications for the fourth edition of the Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award (2022-2023) is open until 31 July 2023


Cities located along the Mediterranean coast are invited to apply by demonstrating concrete steps taken and progress achieved to protect the environment, improve the quality of life, and promote sustainable development. There is no size or population reference, i.e. both small towns or metropolitan cities are eligible to apply.

Applications submitted by local authorities should emphasize partnerships with civil society, the scientific community and the private sector, including actions aimed at promoting urban sustainability. Both achievements and plans for strengthening urban sustainability in a Mediterranean coastal context will be considered.

A simplified online application process

The representatives of candidate cities can now submit a streamlined application online through this platform supported by INFO/RAC. As a first step, users will have to register here to obtain credentials allowing them to complete the online application form.  

The application form starts with general questions to better situate the urban context of the candidate city. These are followed by 15 indicators pertaining to four categories (COP 19 Decision – Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award), namely: 1. Nature and biodiversity protection; 2. Built environment; 3. Social, economic and cultural sustainability, and 4. Governance.

It is recommended but not mandatory to provide qualitative and quantitative information for all indicators.

Applicants can gain an in-depth understanding of the assessment method by perusing the calculation guidelines.

Indicative Timeline

  • July 2023: The Secretariat to proceed with the initial screening of the applications
  • July-August 2023: The Technical Committee supported by three independent experts to propose a short list (three cities) and to draft the evaluation report
  • September 2023: The Jury to approve the evaluation report and to nominate the winning cities
  • September-October 2023: The Secretariat to notify applicant cities about the results of the selection and nomination process, and; organization of a regional experience sharing workshop with applicant cities and partners
  • December 2023: Award giving ceremony

Useful links for Mediterranean cities wanted to apply

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