The Horizon 2020 study on a Hot Spot inventory for the West Balkans and Turkey, which started in September 2010, has already begun to produce results. Missions have taken place to all countries involved, and all the projects listed in the 2005 National Action Plans have been updated. 85% of the Hot Spots in the field of solid waste and waste water have already secured funding and are in various stages of progress, with some already completed.
Raising awareness for the sustainable management of fresh water resources (22 March 2011) On the occasion of the International World Water Day, Prof. Scoullos, Team Leader of the Horizon 2020 Initiative, was interviewed by SKAI radio on the main issues that “drain” water today.
Project support is speeding up as two feasibility studies are currently being prepared in Lebanon and Tunisia, while another three potential investment projects are finalising the pre-feasibility study stage in Egypt. At the same time, there is ongoing dialogue in the partner countries on priority investment projects seeking for funding.
The Horizon 2020 Steering Group is holding its 4th meeting in Amman Jordan (22-23 February 2011). The meeting is attended by representatives of the Ministry of Environment in Jordan, the EU Directorate General for Environment, and member countries of the programme.
Two consecutive training courses on wastewater treatment and reuse within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/MEP project, were organized by the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA). The three-day courses, held in Jordan (6-8 March 2011) and Lebanon (9-11 March 2011) are part of a Mediterranean-wide capacity building effort. The courses, which involved extensive hands-on training, aimed to introduce wastewater reuse through integrated water resources management while strengthening knowledge on technologies and technology selection. Attended by fifty participants in total, the courses targeted experienced wastewater managers and decision-makers mainly sourced from the central government and local authorities, water and sewage associations and relevant research institutions.
The Mediterranean environment is one of the richest and at the same time most vulnerable in the world. A staggering 80% of its pollution comes from land-based sources. Rapid urbanisation together with increasing and unsustainable coastal tourism development is causing significant environmental and health problems – more than half the major urban areas do not have wastewater treatment plants and most of the wastewater they produce is discharged into the sea.
The Mediterranean sea is heavily burdened with litter. A three-day training course on how to effectively deal with marine litter took place in Istanbul, Turkey (7-9 March 2011) within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/MEP project. Around thirty professionals mainly from coastal local and regional authorities of the country and NGOs took part in the course, which was organized by the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) with the support of Waste.