National representatives in charge of Environmental Policy from more than 20 Mediterranean countries joined participants from international financial institutions, regional organisations and other key stakeholders in adopting a strategic document outlining the key objectives over the next 5 years for the H2020 Initiative for a cleaner Mediterranean as regards investments in pollution reduction, review and monitoring, capacity building and research.
Horizon 2020 CB/MEP organized two 3-day trainings in The Hague (12-14 May 2014) and Marrakesh (23-15 June 2014) to train wastewater professionals in developing their skills on planning, applying appropriate technology and overall management of faecal sludge. This is not sludge from treated water but rather raw sludge, the proper management of which offers solutions for remote Mediterranean areas, or areas that are not connected to waste water treatment plants.
The Final Report of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) entitled "Shaping the Future We Want" prominently refers to the Mediterranean Strategy on ESD as a success on a global scale! The Strategy was endorsed in May 2014 by the UfM Ministers in charge of Environment and Climate Change. The Report was formally presented by UNESCO's Director General in Nagoya during the Opening Ceremony of the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development.
The second half of 2014 will be very busy with H2020 meetings. Please see the tentative schedule of events here.
Industrial operations have produced many environmentally hazardous sites throughout the Mediterranean region, which pose substantial health and other risks to both humans and ecosystems, affecting all aspects of sustainable development. To address this reality the EU funded Mediterranean Environment Programme organized a sub-regional training course in Algiers (24-25 September, 2014) dedicated to the rehabilitation of soils from industrial pollution with emphasis on highly toxic pollutants such as PCBs, mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb).
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!
Most countries in the region are moving from the use of dumps/uncontrolled landfills towards controlled sanitary landfills. Although this is a comprehensive and overarching approach, there is an urgent need to do more and better. Using the methodology of Integrated Sustainable Waste and Resources Management (SWRM) it should be possible to achieve relatively quickly (in 2025) a rate of composting / recycling between 20 and 50% with all the economic, environmental and social advantages that accompany such a change.
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.