MedCOP Climate 2016: UfM backs concrete schemes to drive a shared Mediterranean climate agenda

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The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) has been an institutional partner of the Tangier region for MedCOP Climate 2016, which took place in Tangier on 18 and 19 July 2016 and was attended by more than 2,000 representatives of the Mediterranean countries, civil society, various international and regional organisations, economic stakeholders and experts. The conference provided a forum to present various initiatives and projects supported by the UfM to help formulate a Mediterranean climate agenda.
These initiatives include the creation of a Mediterranean network of young people working on climate issues; the Regional Committee for Cooperation on Climate Finance aimed at making funding for climate projects in the region more efficient; and the launch of the UfM Energy University by Schneider Electric.
The UfM Secretary General, Fathallah Sijilmassi, said: “The fight against climate deregulation in the Mediterranean region can only be won by strengthening regional cooperation and developing concrete schemes. This is the UfM’s core business. So it was natural for the UfM Secretariat to be not just a partner in this great forum of exchange that is MedCOP Climate 2016, but also to contribute with projects that have a regional impact”.
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MedCOP Climate Conference 2016 in Tangier, July 18-19, 2016

Source: UfM
The Union for the Mediterranean is actively involved as an institutional and financial partner in the organisation of MedCOP Climate 2016 to be held in Tangier, Morocco on 18 and 19 July. The MedCOP Climate 2016 is a Mediterranean multi-actor climate conference aiming to contribute through a regional perspective to the international efforts against climate change, in view of the upcoming COP22 which will take place from 7 to 18 November 2016 in Marrakech.
The Conference will gather the representatives from Mediterranean countries, private sector, civil society, as well as regional and international organisations who will have the opportunity to interact and exchange the ideas during different formats of activities: debates, workshops, events and side-events.
The objectives of this Mediterranean gathering are to highlight the existing initiatives related to the climate action in the region and to formulate innovative ideas by associations of local, national and regional society networks. It will also enable the stakeholders to present their projects and inform about the development of these projects. Moreover, the dialogue should encourage and raise the awareness of the benefit and need of actions against climate change in the Mediterranean region.

Addressing Climate Change challenges in the Mediterranean to advance towards a more sustainable region

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The declaration of the UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change, held on 13 May 2014, included climate change for the first time as a priority area of cooperation for the UfM. It underlined the urgency to address climate change due to its close connection with other major regional concerns, such as energy, water scarcity, desertification, food security, overpopulation and resilience to extreme weather events.
In this context, the UfM Climate Change Expert Group has been created to act as a regional platform, showcasing how a complex system of relevant initiatives, programmes and structures may be brought together in order to create synergies while including stakeholders, the private sector and various levels of governance. Its aim is to enhance regional dialogue and catalyse the identification, support and development of specific projects and initiatives, both in mitigation and adaptation.

PLASTIC-BUSTERS for a Mediterranean free from litter

Source: Union for the Mediterranean

The overall goal of the project is to effectively tackle the issue of marine litter in the Mediterranean. The project directly supports the implementation of the UNEP/MAP Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, linking and contributing also to the global Honolulu Strategy framework for prevention and management of Marine Debris. The project is also in line with the recommendations of the UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change (May 2014) and the UfM Ministerial on Blue Economy (November 2015).ECNC Land and Sea Group is one of the partners of this large initiative.

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Marine litter has become a major pollution problem affecting all of the world seas. Increased levels of marine litter originate largely from land based activities (~80%). This includes, in particular, inadequate urban solid waste management (collection, transportation, treatment and final disposal) negative impacts on human health, marine wildlife, marine ecological systems, beach quality, and navigational safety as well as fishing and maritime industries.

According to the European Environmental Agency (EEA), the average amount of municipal solid waste produced in the EU is 520 kg per person/year and is projected to increase to 680 kg per person/year by 2020. While solid waste generated in non‐EU Mediterranean countries is still approximately half the per capita level in the EU, waste generation in the southern Mediterranean region has grown approximately 15 % over the last decade; mostly due to a growing population and increased consumption.

Sound, shared scientific knowledge and coordinated and multi‐sectoral actions are therefore key in combating marine litter.

With a total budget of 8,8 M Euros over a 4-year period, the project will enable to assess the amount, sources, pathways, distribution convergence areas and effects of marine litter to better mitigate and reduce the impact of marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea. The nature and effects of plastic litter on the marine food chain, fisheries and fishing activities, as well as human health are still largely unknown and are important issues investigated within this project.

A series of concrete prevention and mitigation actions and approaches (e.g. fishing for litter; removal and collection of derelict fishing gear and establishing recycling mechanisms e.g. “Healthy Seas initiative”; establish return/deposit systems for packaging, etc.) are intended to be developed, tested and promoted during the project in several pilot areas in the Mediterranean basin. Following a ‘’life cycle thinking’’ and a circular economy approach, the project will also carry out a systemic evaluations of the feasibility, reliability and sustainability while involving relevant stakeholders such as port authorities, fishermen and municipalities.

The project further foresees a wide range of actions to enhance the awareness of stakeholders and promote change in their perceptions and attitudes towards waste.

The label delivered by the UfM is the recognition of the urgency to join forces towards a shared and coordinated regional approach to provide regional actions and solutions to this common problem. As underlined by the Barcelona Convention within the Regional Plan for Marine Litter (Istanbul 2013) “Marine pollution knows no border, pollution in one country affects all the others”.

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UfM to enhance regional cooperation on climate change at COP21

The UfM Secretariat has organised, with the support of the European Union, an event during the COP21 currently taking place in Paris. The aim was to discuss the role of the UfM as a facilitator to put into operation the provisions of the Paris declaration. It will also be an opportunity for France, current COP Presidency, and Morocco, forthcoming COP presidency, to exchange views on the role of the Euro-Mediterranean region in the global process.
 
Representatives of the European Commission, France, and Morocco were joined by the Team Leader of the EU-funded ClimaSouth project to discuss the need to reinforce regional cooperation on climate change.
 
The interventions focused on the established cooperation within the Union for the Mediterranean Climate Change Expert Group, namely the agreed work plan and its relevance to the international climate change negotiations. The UfM Secretariat also presented existing and planned initiatives in order to enhance regional cooperation on climate change in the region according to the priorities identified by the UfM Member States in the Athens Declaration in May 2014.

UfM launches new ‘blue economy’ cooperation initiative in the Mediterranean

90b101278079740f302a4a5084ef2ea5f4b23b9eMinisters in charge of maritime affairs from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) have committed to closer cooperation on blue economy and maritime governance two weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 21 in Paris. The launch of this new Blue Economy initiative falls within the framework of the global UfM sustainable development strategy, which entails activities in the fields of energy, climate change, urban development and water and environment. Gathered in Brussels on the occasion of the first UfM Ministerial Conference on Blue Economy, participants stressed the need for the Mediterranean region to make the best use of the potential of the blue economy to promote growth, jobs and investments and reduce poverty. They noted that clean and healthy seas are drivers and enablers for national and regional economies and advocated building a clear vision for the sustainable and integrated development of marine and maritime sectors at national and sea basin levels.

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Anna Lindh Foundation: Prior information notice for Opinion Poll service contract in the Mediterranean

The Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures has launched an International Restricted Service Tender for the selection of a service provider to carry out an opinion poll in 2016.
The service provider should produce an Opinion Poll addressed to citizens of the countries of the Union for the Mediterranean and a related data analysis in line with the objective of the ALF programme to publish the third edition of the Anna Lindh Report on Intercultural Trends and Social Change in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The indicative budget is €400,000 and the intended timing of publication of the contract notice is 30 September 2015.
The Anna Lindh Foundation for Inter-Cultural Dialogue promotes knowledge, mutual respect and inter-cultural dialogue between the people of the Euro-Mediterranean region, working through a network of more than 3,000 civil society organisations in 43 countries. Its budget is co-funded by the EU (€10 million) and the EU member states (€6 million). (EU Neighbourhood Info)
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