The 3rd Meeting of the H2020 Sub-Group on Capacity Building took place on the 18th of April 2012

on 08 July 2012.

Almost all partner countries and numerous stakeholders, participated in the 3rd Meeting of the H2020 Capacity Building Sub-Group There was an overall positive response from the countries and stakeholders with a demonstrated ownership of the capacity building and environmental integration activities and benefits gained. The main merits were identified to be: (a) the strong links with country/stakeholder demands and national priorities; (b) the practical/tangible approach followed in addressing short and medium term needs; (c) flexibility in adapting to emerging needs (programming, accepting additional trainees, etc.) and (d) commitment of countries/H2020 Focal Points and EU Delegations’ involvement.

Environmental integration and mainstreaming is by its nature a longer term objective and therefore, has, as expected, been a somewhat difficult process dominated by national political culture factors. Yet, already many positive results have been recorded in Lebanon, Tunisia, Israel, Croatia, Morocco and Palestine, which can be directly or indirectly linked to H2020 CB/MEP activities: trainings and study visits.

The H2020 Capacity Building component has obtained a very high level of synergy with all relevant EU, UfM and Med/regional actors, a process which could be further enhanced. The programme of CB activities also addresses in a reasonably balanced way all aspects of the Project Cycle (design, science, policy frameworks, stakeholder involvement, implementation, project sustainability, etc.).

Coming to the next 2-year phase of the project (2013-2014), if approved by the EC, it was agreed that there is no need for a new “inception phase”. Each country’s list of priorities will be re-visited with the involvement of the Focal Points, the European Commission, consortium members/experts, etc., in a transparent manner.

Some capacity building activities could address the pollution reduction (pollutants and targets) agreed under UNEP/MAP. Other themes and methodologies for the next phase that were explicitly mentioned during the discussion were:  green economy and strengthened private sector involvement, combining ICZM and IWRM with ecosystem approach, stakeholder involvement, education for sustainable development, awareness raising, development of communication materials for post training use in-country, increased hands-on experiences/best practices/study visits, adaptability to the extent possible in terms of use of national languages and duration.

It is vital to maintain the very close coordination achieved so far at all levels: European Commission, Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader, Countries, Consortium members, etc.