EU is financing/co-financing many programmes focused on environment in the Mediterranean neighborhood. Three specific programmes were created to support the H2020 Initiative, those are: Mediterranean Hot Spots Investment Programme – Project Preparation and Implementation Facility (MeHSIP-PPIF); Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (CB/MEP) and Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS).
MeHSIP-PPIF aims to support the Horizon 2020 Investments for Pollution Reduction and Prevention component. This is mainly being achieved through providing project development support to infrastructure investment projects. The projects derive mainly from the so called "hotspots" as identified under the National Action Plan (NAP) exercise that was coordinated by UNEP/MAP. In order to be chosen, projects have to meet a set of criteria (financial and environmental) as well as be strongly supported by the national administration responsible for planning and finance. MeHSIP-PPIF I was launched in 2009 and ended in 2014. It has fully developed four front-runner projects: i) El Ekaider Dump Site (Jordan); ii) Al Ghadir Waste Water Treatment Plant (Lebanon); ii) Tangier Solid Waste Management (Morocco); and iv) Lake Bizerte Integrated De pollution (Tunisia). Budget for 2009-2013: 6.2 M€. The next phase, MEHSIP II, will run from 2015 with a budget of € 6 million EU support.
Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (€5 million for 2009-2012) aims to support the implementation of the Horizon 2020 Initiative Capacity Building component through capacity building and awareness raising activities, and to promote integration/mainstreaming of environment issues into other sector policies. It is also responsible for the proper coordination of the H2020 Steering Group and the three Sub-Groups and the overall enhanced visibility of Horizon 2020. A new phase with €4 million EU support will be launched in 2015 and will be merged with SWIM support mechanism. The EU also contributes to this pillar with ECRAN (Environment and Climate Regional Accession Network- for Western Balkans and Turkey with €5 million+ TAIEX support).
Shared Environment Information System (SEIS) was created to support the Horizon 2020 Initiative Monitoring and Review component in order to monitor the success of the Horizon 2020 Initiative and the state of the Mediterranean Sea. It aims at developing national and regional environmental information systems in line with the EU approach and the commitments of the Barcelona Convention EcAP Decisions. It brings together the environmental and statistical networks as key holders of environmental information and assists EU neighbours in their environmental monitoring. Timeframe: 2009 – 2015; EU contribution: € 5,746,500 (out of which € 3,000,000 for the South Med neighborhood). A second phase with €4 million EU support for the ENI South region has been approved in 2014 and will be launched in 2015
There are also four other regional projects currently in place in the Mediterranean neighborhood. Those are SWITCH-Med, Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) and EU-NGOs project.
SWITCH-Med is an EU funded Programme with the aim is to assist 10 countries of the southern Mediterranean to develop and implement policies to SWITCH to sustainable pattern of consumption and production (SCP) promoting it among consumers, small and medium‐sized enterprises and Mediterranean policy‐makers. SWITCH-Med is being implemented through collaborative efforts by the EU, UNIDO, UNEP/MAP-Sustainable Consumption and Production Centre (SCP/RAC) and UNEP-DTIE. All European Neighbourhood countries will be beneficiaries. The total EU support is €22 million. The SWITCH-Med Initiative is made up of three interlinked components:
The SWITCH-Med Policy component (€3.0 million) will strengthen relevant environmental governance and policy frameworks and develop national SCP policy action plans and a regional SCP roadmap/action plan under the Barcelona Convention.
The SWITCH-Med Demonstration component (€17.5 million) will implement concrete actions tackling the barriers faced by key players responsible for the shift towards SCP patterns. It consists of three sub-components: (a) Sustainable production - MED TEST II: will stimulate the demand and supply of sustainable production services to industry; (b) Green entrepreneurship and civil society empowerment; (c) SCP National Action Plans demo.
The SWITCH-Med Networking Facility (€2.4 million) will support the visibility, effectiveness, long-term sustainability and impact of the components of the SWITCH-Med Programme. It will enable networking, exchange of lessons learned and encourage scaling-up of activities.
SWIM (Sustainable Water Integrated Management) with €20.6 million of EU support for 2010-2014 is a Regional Technical Assistance Programme launched by the European Commission to contribute to the extensive dissemination and effective implementation of sustainable water management policies and practices in the Southern Mediterranean Region. This is in the context of increasing water scarcity, combined pressures on water resources from a wide range of users, desertification processes and in connection with climate change. The SWIM programme has promoted sustainable water management policies and practices in the areas that were to be targeted by the Mediterranean Water Strategy, i.e. water governance, water and climate change, water financing and water demand management and efficiency, as well as non-conventional resources. SWIM has supported institutional building, policy dialogue, capacity building, as well as awareness-raising on water scarcity and environment-related challenges, complemented by a set of five demonstration projects. SWIM included a policy support component and pilot/demonstration projects component. A second phase with €15 million EU support has been approved in 2014.
Marine Protected Areas: the EU is supporting the creation of a network of Marine Protected Areas through the project “Development of a Mediterranean Marine and Coastal Protected Areas Network” (EUR 3.6 million; 2009-2014). This is the EU-financed biodiversity component of the UNEP-Global Environment Facility (GEF) Med Partnership Initiative, assisting countries to strengthen the management of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas Network and to identify new ones. The project is implemented through a joint management agreement with UNEP-MAP, with World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) and RAC-SPA as implementing partners. The ultimate objective is to establish a regional network of inter-connected MPAs, that is ecologically representative and covers at least 10% of the Mediterranean Sea (currently we stand at 4.6%). The recommendation is to involve more actively local stakeholders in planning and managing MPAs and to move towards a cross-sectorial approach that aims at the sustainable use of maritime resources, of which biodiversity conservation will be one aspect. A second phase with €3 million EU support will launched in 2015.
NGOs Project - 'Strengthening Environmental Governance by Building the Capacity of Non-Governmental Organizations' is a project funded by the European Union, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project aims to promote sustainable development and improve environmental management in target countries, through more effective civil society participation in environmental governance. The specific objective of the project is to build the capacities of NGOs in selected countries to engage in environmental governance.
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