Following the completion of the feasibility studies for the four priority pollution reduction projects in 2013, MeHSIP-PPIF’s focus turned to facilitating the final steps to financing these projects. MeHSIP-PPIF continued working closely with Promoters and the EIB to facilitate the process of closing the financing. Two out of the four investment projects (Lake Bizerte in Tunisia and Kafr El Sheikh in Egypt) have been approved for financing by the EIB and are in the process of securing funding from a co-financier. The project in Lebanon (Al Ghadir) is also attracting strong interest from financing institutions and should be able to move forward. For Jordan, despite the economic situation in the country not allowing the project to proceed further at the moment, the feasibility study prepared by MeHSIP-PPIF has provided a solid basis once the discussions between IFIs/donors and the Government will resume. Finally, three of the investment projects have secured grant support from the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).
The 4th Meeting of the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building Sub-Group took place in Brussels, 19 November 2013. The main aim was to report and evaluate the progress of the H2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (CB/MEP), which is the EU funded project supporting the implementation of the H2020 capacity building component. The Mid-Term Evaluation undertaken by an external evaluator (see above) was also discussed by the sub group.
At the “Pollution Reduction Core Group” meeting held in Barcelona on the 18th April 2012, it was agreed that factual knowledge of the status of the depollution investment projects that have already secured financing would be of great value to the EC, IFIs/Donors, UNEP/MAP, UfM and other organisations steering the Horizon 2020 process. This “validation” would allow for a more holistic overview of executed, ongoing and planned pollution reduction projects in the south and east Mediterranean region and help evaluate the main elements impeding or supporting a successful project preparation and implementation towards eliminating UNEP/MAP identified “hot spots” and therefore reducing pollution into the Mediterranean Sea.
As part of the Review and Monitoring component of the Horizon 2020 Initiative and the setting-up of a regular Horizon 2020 reporting mechanism, the European Environment Agency (EEA), together with the ENP South partner countries, are developing the first regional assessment report. This is done in close cooperation with UNEP/MAP (Barcelona Convention), the Capacity Building component of Horizon 2020 (CB/MEP), the European Investment Bank and the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean.
Following the in-country missions that took place as part of the validation exercise described above, MeHSIP-PPIF was also able to update the Horizon 2020 Project List and Horizon 2020 Pipeline. 26 new projects were added to the Horizon 2020 Project List originating from most of the partner countries. Currently, the Horizon 2020 Project List includes 113 projects with an estimated value of 7,75 bn EUR.
Municipal solid waste, urban waste water and industrial emissions are still heavily impacting the Mediterranean marine environment. Despite all the efforts made, a lot remains to be done to secure finance for pollution reduction investments and make them sustainable, to increase the capacity of governments to devise and enforce conducive regulatory and policy frameworks and to monitor the state of the environment.
The Mid-Term Evaluation of the EU funded H2020 Capacity Building/ Mediterranean Environment Programme (ENPI/2009/220-191) undertaken by an external evaluator (IBF International Consulting) in order to assess the results, impact and outcomes of the service contract led by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, aiming at conducting a comprehensive training programme for beneficiaries from the ENP South countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya since 2012, Morocco, Palestine, Syria until 2011, and Tunisia), Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro) and Turkey. The programme covers the Southern Mediterranean countries between 2010 and 2014 and the Western Balkans and Turkey from 2010 to 2012. The assignment started on 01 April 2013 and continued until September 2013. The final report (http://www.h2020.net/en/resources/h2020-mid-term-review-documents.html) summarises the results of the evaluation. The project was found to have delivered good results according to all evaluation criteria. Relevance was excellent, all other aspects good.
A highly technical four-day training course was organized in Poreč, Croatia, from 17-20 September 2013 by the EU funded Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (CB/MEP), which supports the EuroMed Initiative to depollute the Mediterranean by the year 2020 (Horizon 2020).