EU, UfM, EIB and EBRD launch project for the environmental clean-up of Lake Bizerte and the depollution of the Mediterranean
Youssef Chahed, Head of Government of Tunisia, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, and Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), gathered today in Bizerte to launch the “Integrated Programme for the Protection of Lake Bizerte against Pollution”, labelled by the 43 UfM Member States.
The 6th Meeting of the Review and Monitoring Group was held on 16 June 2015 in Valleta, Malta.
The meeting built on the strategic orientations provided by the UfM Ministerial Declaration, the conclusions of the mid-term review and the outcome of the H2020 Steering Committee held in December 2014, during which the H2020 work programme for the period 2015-2020 was adopted, including the tasks and objectives of the Review and Monitoring group.
In this sense, the meeting offered the opportunity to further discuss the specific practicalities in the implementation of the adopted mandate as well as to develop and decide on the RM work programme for 2015-2016, in synergy with other relevant on-going initiatives and processes.
For the materials and documents of the meeting click here
H2020 Initiative sets ambitious objectives to boost protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.