The Mid-term review of the Horizon 2020 Initiative culminated in the second semester of 2014 with the first UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment re-affirming its continuation till the year 2020. In this issue of the Horizon 2020 News Flash you will read about the highlights of this period – a period of particular significance for the future of the Initiative.
The H2020 Initiative
The "Horizon 2020 Initiative" aims to de-pollute the Mediterranean by the year 2020 by tackling the sources of pollution that account for around 80% of the overall pollution of the Mediterranean Sea: municipal waste, urban waste water and industrial pollution.
To implement and monitor actions three working groups were created to address:
Ministers attending the first Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change in Athens on the 13th of May issued a Declaration reiterating their commitment to tackle the growing environmental and climate challenges facing the region. More specifically the Ministers agreed to launch the second phase of the Horizon 2020 Initiative with the full involvement of the UfM Secretariat and agreed on future strategic directions to reduce pollution and increase resource efficiency in the Mediterranean.
The UfM Ministerial Meeting of May 2014 also formally and unanimously endorsed the Mediterranean Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (MSESD). The Strategy was finalised with the support of the Horizon 2020 Initiative which facilitated the final stakeholder consultations on the text.
The "Horizon 2020 Mediterranean report - Toward shared environmental information systems" was released on the 13th of May at the UfM Ministerial Conference on Environment and Climate Change. The report is part of the mid-term review of the Horizon 2020 Initiative and has been coordinated by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) with EC funding under the ENPI-SEIS project.
Re-launched in 2014 through new impetus from the Ministerial on Environment and Climate Change, the Pollution Reduction sub-group of the Horizon 2020 Initiative will be co-chaired by the UfM Secretariat and the European Investment Bank to provide a platform for different donors to coordinate their action and address project-related challenges in the region. The sub-group is tasked with the identification and development of investment projects that will reduce the most significant sources of pollution in the Mediterranean.
After the UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change (May 2014) re-affirmed the continuation and enhancement of the Horizon 2020 Initiative, the second phase of the Project Preparation and Implementation Facility of the Mediterranean Hot Spots Investment Programme (MeHSIP) was approved. Similarly to the first phase, it is financed by the European Union and it will be implemented by the European Investment Bank. The starting date will be in the second half of 2014.
In July this year, the Mediterranean Environment Programme (CB/MEP), in charge of implementing the Capacity Building work programme of the Horizon 2020 Initiative, succeeded in having so far trained more than 3000 Mediterranean stakeholders through 132 activities dedicated to urban wastewater, municipal solid waste, industrial pollution and environmental mainstreaming.
The Mediterranean Environment Programme, better known as CB/MEP, has for 5 years now been delivering more than 120 activities aiming to enhance the human capital of the Mediterranean so as to better address the Horizon 2020 objectives. By the end of October 2014 the programme will have reached its close.
By September 2014, two more modules will be available on the Horizon 2020 e-learning platform. One is dedicated to Urban Waste Water Management and the other on Constructed Wetlands for Waste Water Treatment. The two modules already available (PRTR and Integrated Sustainable Waste and Resource Management) are increasingly popular. Visit the platform, follow a course and gain your certificate!