SUSTAINABLE WATER MANAGEMENT IN FOCUS AS SWIM-H2020 PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS FIRST ACTIVITIES

The SWIM-H2020 SM Project (Sustainable Water Integrated Management and Horizon 2020 Support Mechanism 2016-2019) funded by the European Union aims to contribute to reduced marine pollution and a sustainable use of scarce water resources in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, [Syria] and Tunisia). The Project is the continuation and merging of two successful previous EU-funded service contracts, Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (H2020 CB/MEP) (2009-2014) and the Sustainable Water Integrated Management Support Mechanism (SWIM SM) (2010-2015).
The SWIM-H2020 SM Project aims to contribute to reduce marine pollution and a sustainable use of scarce water resources in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. With a budget of 6.2 million euros, the three-year project builds on the work of two previous EU-funded projects going back to 2009. The fact-finding visits met ministries and key stakeholders in order to discuss and identify every country’s needs, in terms of integrated water management and reducing and preventing pollution of the Mediterranean Sea. 
The SWIM-H2020 SM Project released its first newsletter, highlighting its first activities, from a series of fact-finding missions to all eight Mediterranean partner countries to the project’s first regional training event, on the mainstreaming of drought risk management, which took place in Athens in December. 
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Newsletter

Horizon 2020 mediterranean report

The H2020 Mediterranean Report is a joint effort of the EEA and UNEP/MAP resulting from the creation of a regular review mechanism of environmental progress in the three H2020 policy priorities. These are municipal waste, urban waste water and industrial pollution. The report also serves as a contribution to the mid-term review of the H2020 initiative.

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The first assessment of progress in the depollution of the Mediterranean Sea is underway

Source: H2020

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.

This first Horizon 2020 assessment is composed of a regional thematic assessment based on the key Horizon 2020 indicators selected and a set of country level assessments (similar to the part C of the European State and Outlook Report 2010) for Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Complementary to the thematic assessment, a technical report on the process toward the setting-up of a regular reporting mechanism of Horizon 2020 while implementing the SEIS principles is also in preparation. The report is using the DPSIR (Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, Response) analytical framework to build-up the analysis. A specific guidance document has been prepared by the EEA to support countries with the elaboration of their country-level assessment contribution to the Horizon 2020 regional report. This first indicator based report will, together with other Horizon 2020 technical studies (e.g. of Horizon 2020 investments portfolio, review of UNEP/MAP-MEDPOL National Action Plans) and evaluation of implementation of specific projects (e.g. mid-term evaluation of Horizon 2020 CB/MEP) support a wider mid-term review of the Horizon 2020 Initiative and recommendations for its second phase (2014-2020).

Over 1900 administrators, local authorities, professionals and NGO staff have been trained in the first three years of the H2020 Capacity Building component

Source: H2020

More than 1900 professionals from ministries, local authorities, institutions, agencies, NGOs, industries, business organizations, chambers of commerce, universities and research institutes, as well as politicians and Members of Parliament, journalists, educators, etc. of 14 Mediterranean countries (see chart) have been trained in one or more of the eighty five (85) Horizon 2020 capacity building activities that have taken place in the past three years. Around 300 trainers, experts and lecturers were mobilised in order to address the wide ranging topics of the activities.

The training modules of all 85 events are available at http://www.h2020.net/en/resources/training-materials.html while three distance learning modules are being developed and will be available on the h2020.net site in early 2013.

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Parliamentarians, journalists and NGOs agree to work hand in hand towards the depollution of the Mediterranean

Source: Horizon 2020

More than a 120 Members of Parliament, journalists and NGOs from 22 Mediterranean countries met in Athens, Greece on 22 and 23 October 2012 and pledged to accelerate their efforts towards a depolluted Mediterranean by the year 2020. The two-day workshop was organized within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/ Mediterranean Environment Programme and constituted the first international meeting of Mediterranean MPs after the events of the Arab Spring.

The workshop entitled “How Members of Parliament can better contribute to the effective De-pollution of the Mediterranean” was opened by Prof. Stefan Schennach, Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Water of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA – UfM) who acknowledged the integrating role of Horizon 2020 in bringing together the multiple projects and initiatives currently underway in the region. Prof. Schennach highlighted the potential role of environmentally friendly policies and technologies in addressing problems of unemployment and low productivity, which are prevalent in the region.

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The MedPartnership addresses Parliamentarians, journalists and NGOs in Athens

Source: MedPartnership

The MedPartnership was showcased to more than a 120 Members of Parliament, journalists and NGOs from 22 Mediterranean countries who gathered in Athens, Greece on 22 and 23 October 2012. The workshop entitled “How Members of Parliament can better contribute to the effective De-pollution of the Mediterranean” was organized within the framework of the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/ Mediterranean Environment Programme and constituted the first international meeting of Mediterranean MPs after the events of the Arab Spring.  The Workshop was opened by Prof. Stefan Schennach, Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Water of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA – UfM) and was chaired by Prof. Michael Scoullos, H2020 Team Leader. The Coordinator of UNEP/ Mediterranean Action Plan, Ms. Maria Luisa Silva Mejias addressed the meeting highlighting that “In the current context of combined political and economic crises throughout the Mediterranean, the leadership of members of Parliament is essential to achieve our objectives. The main difference between the current downturn and previous ones is that it occurs in a context of increased fragility of our natural capital.  Parliamentarians will be key actors in ensuring that the development strategies that will lift us from the current situation are not at the expense of our already depleted resources”.

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Cérémonie pour la signature et l’adoption de «charte pour le Développement Durable du Lac de Bizerte»

Source: Horizon 2020

Une cérémonie pour célébrer la signature et l’adoption de la «Charte pour le Développement Durable du Lac de Bizerte» a eu lieu le 16 Octobre 2012, au Ministère de l’Environnement. La charte a été convenue entre toutes les parties prenantes impliquées dans la gestion intégrée du Lac. Ont assisté à la cérémonie Mme Mamia El Banna, Ministre de l’Environnement, M. Mohamed Lamine Chakhari, Ministre de l’Industrie et du Commerce, M. Belgacem Ayed, Directeur Général des Infrastructures au Ministère du Développement Régional et de la Planification, M. Abderazak Ben Khlifa, Gouverneur de Bizerte, Mme Nathalie Clémence, de la Banque Européenne d’Investissement, M. Nick Marchesi, MeHSIP-PPIF et le Prof. Michael Scoullos, H2020 CB/MEP.

Le lac de Bizerte est l’un des principaux hot spots de la Tunisie, caractérisé par une pollution industrielle majeure et des pressions exercées par plusieurs autres activités (agricole, urbaine, transport, etc.). L’initiative Horizon 2020, par le biais de la Banque Européenne d’Investissement (BEI), appuiera un investissement important dans la région pour la réduction/maitrise des sources de pollutions notamment industrielles sur la base des travaux préparatoires menés par le Programme d’investissement pour l’élimination des zones sensibles en Méditerranée – Mécanisme d’aide à la préparation et à la mise en œuvre des projets (MeHSIP-PPIF) sous la supervision du Ministère de l’Environnement de la Tunisie.

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