In order to make real progress on the development and ‘population’ of the Horizon 2020 indicators from national sources, a series of workshops was organised between March and June 2013 in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.
The ‘Integrated Programme for Protection of the Lake Bizerte against Pollution’ was labelled at the UfM Senior Officials Meeting in Vilnius on the 3rd of October. It is the first investment project labelled under the Euro- Mediterranean Horizon 2020 Initiative.
The 4th meeting of the Horizon 2020 RMR Sub-group gathered a number of experts from the Southern Mediterranean and West Balkan partner countries, as well as key partners from international organisations and other projects in Copenhagen on 11-12 June.
The EU funded Horizon 2020 Capacity Building / Mediterranean Environment Programme closed the first half of 2013 with a much anticipated national workshop in Tel Aviv, Israel on a leading instrument for environmental decision support, namely the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). The two-day workshop, held on 18-19 June 2013, was entitled “Life Cycle Assessment: Data Collection and Databases” and was attended by more than 50 participants aiming to improve their knowledge of this integrated approach and also contribute to the development of an LCA strategy currently underway by the Ministry of Environment.
By the end of June this year, MeHSIP-PPIF concluded the first in-country missions to Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia in order to obtain information on the progress achieved on projects addressing Mediterranean Hot Spots that have already secured funding. MeHSIP-PPIF is undertaking this exercise in close coordination with the consultant team appointed by the UfMS to update the priority investment projects for protecting the Mediterranean Sea from pollution and UNEP/MAP. In an attempt to further evaluate the operational aspects of financed projects, MeHSIP-PPIF is also working together with the Technical Assistance team implementing the “Sustainable Water Integrated Management – Support Mechanism” (SWIM-SM / EU-funded) to draw on their expertise and resources to carry out verification missions to projects that have reached operating phase. The initial survey of the ‘financing secured’ project (currently 50) and accompanied snapshot of these projects will be completed by MeHSIP-PPIF before the end of 2013.
More than 40 representatives of Ministries of Education, Ministries of Environment, regional and international organizations and NGOs from 14 Mediterranean countries met in Zagreb, Croatia on 17-18 June to work on the final draft of the Mediterranean Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The Mediterranean Strategy on ESD is expected to be adopted at Ministerial level in October 2013 in Monaco. The meeting, entitled ‘Strengthening Education for Sustainable Development policies in the Mediterranean’ was organized within the framework of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme in cooperation with the Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and the Mediterranean Education Initiative for Environment and Sustainability (MEdIES).
Following the completion of the feasibility studies of all four projects, the focus of MeHSIP-PPIF is now on facilitating the funding options for these projects. For two of them (Lake Bizerte in Tunisia and Kafr El Sheikh in Egypt) the EIB has undertaken joint missions with the EBRD, accompanied by the MeHSIP-PPIF team. Furthermore, the initial approval of their respective applications to the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) has been secured.
Linking economic growth, environmental protection, business innovation and job creation was the objective of the latest national Horizon202 workshop held in Egypt within the framework of the EU funded Horizon 2020 CB/MEP. The workshop was launched with the address of the Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, Dr. Khaled Fahmy, delivered by the Under Secretary, Dr. Salah Al Sharif. The importance of enhancing the skills of Egyptians towards the reduction of pollution in the Mediterranean basin and the essential contribution to this end of Horizon 2020 was underlined. Dr. Mostafa Kamal Tolba, former Executive Director of UNEP and leading international environmental expert, stressed the relation between an educated workforce and the effective protection of natural resources while recognizing the need to raise environmental awareness in Egypt through regional initiatives and programmes such as Horizon 2020.