Brussels, 24 February 2016 – A participatory and multi-stakeholder approach on environmental cooperation is at the core of the UfM-labelled project “BlueGreen Med-CS; Networking Civil Society in the Mediterranean region through environment and water issues”, launched on 23 February in Brussels by a consortium comprised of the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE), the Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED), the WWF Mediterranean Programme Office (WWF MedPO), the Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med), the Mediterranean Water Institute (IME) and the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative (Med Wet) with the support of the UfM Secretariat.
The project is in line with the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Change which was adopted on 13 May 2014, highlighting the significant role that civil society organisations can play in achieving environmental and water-related objectives.
A programme to promote the participation of Euro-Mediterranean CSOs in environment and water issues
By strengthening existing and promoting new cooperation and financial opportunities in the environment and water among CSOs in the region, BlueGreen Med-CS will contribute to linking national and regional environmental initiatives.
The project will foster regular dialogue and collaboration between Northern and Southern CSOs working in water and the environment and will provide Southern CSOs with the opportunity to participate in the planned H2020 capacity building activities which include mentoring, sharing information and possibly replicating best environmental governance practices and projects.
UfM Acting Deputy Secretary General for Environment and Water Almotaz Abadi highlighted the added value of the project ensuring that “fostering regional cooperation in the field of sustainable development is key to effectively advance regional integration, stability and human development in the Mediterranean. This project represents a clear opportunity to involve civil society organisations in environmental and water-related policy dialogue with a view to developing synergies and implementing coordinated regional and national actions that can contribute to these common goals.”
BlueGreen Med-CS is in line with the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UfM strategic objective of promoting sustainable development in the Mediterranean region through initiatives and projects on environmental protection, climate action, sustainable urban development, access to water and de-pollution. Currently 650 million tons of sewage is discharged annually into the Mediterranean Sea, while its waters are only renewed every 90 years.
An operational partnership with the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility – Small Grants Programme was recently concluded to strengthen coordination between programmes and processes run at national and regional levels.
The project’s launch took place on the occasion of the annual meeting of the Capacity Building sub-group of the H2020 Initiative for a Cleaner Mediterranean, which aims to tackle by 2020 the sources of pollution that account for around 80% of the overall pollution of the Mediterranean Sea: municipal waste, urban wastewater and industrial pollution. BlueGreen Med-CS supports the civil society dimension of the H2020 Capacity Building Programme.
Around 80 Southern and Northern Mediterranean representatives from governments, civil society organisations, international financial institutions and regional partner organisations took part in this annual gathering.
About the UfM
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together 43 countries: 28 EU member states and 15 Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries. It provides a platform for political dialogue, coordination, and regional cooperation.
The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, established in Barcelona in 2010, focuses on enhancing regional cooperation and integration through the implementation of regional cooperation projects and initiatives. The Secretariat has developed and accelerated the implementation of new regional projects that are key socio-economic and strategic drivers: more than 40 regional labelled projects worth over €5 billion in areas including inclusive growth, youth employability, women’s empowerment, promotion of student mobility, integrated urban development and sustainable development. The Secretariat works in close collaboration with government agencies and an active network of Euro-Mediterranean partners to assist project promoters throughout the entire project cycle, from technical assistance to project implementation, as well as financial planning and fundraising.
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