The highlight of a two-day EU funded sub-regional training on how the transition to a green economy can be financed (Tunis, 1-2 October 2013) was a roundtable session with representatives of public and private banks and green business projects.
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.
In the framework of the SEIS project, support is given to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia and soon Morocco to introduce Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) as an effective tool in their national reporting systems. The six pilot exercises are under implementation with the support of UNEP/MAP-MEDPOL and at the regional level also with the support of the Capacity Building component of Horizon 2020.
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.
A regional report is currently under preparation jointly by the EEA and UNEP/MAP under the Horizon 2020 Initiative, which will assess progress in the depollution of the Mediterranean Sea with a focus on the three Horizon 2020 priority areas (i.e. municipal solid waste; urban waste water; industrial emissions). The 4th meeting of the RMR Sub Group (June 2013) adjusted the report outline to reflect progress in the reporting process.
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.
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.