Accelerating the Mediterranean’s transition to a green, circular and inclusive economy and to climate resilience
4th meeting of the UfM Working Group on Environment and Climate Change
24 May 2023, Barcelona. The 4th meeting of the UfM Working Group on Environment and Climate Change took place in Sitges, Barcelona, on 24 May 2023. Member countries of the UfM Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, as well as different key stakeholders (CPMR, UNEP MAP, FAO, the European Forest Institute or Clima-Med, among others) met to foster progress on the 2nd UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Change action, adopted in Cairo in 2021. The 2021 Ministerial Declaration aims to intensify and accelerate the Mediterranean’s transition to a green, circular and inclusive economy and to climate resilience. At a more operational level, the 2nd UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Action endorsed the 2030GreenerMed Agenda as a regional structured framework for cooperation and coordination as well as the Climate Action Work Plan.
The two Deputy Secretary General in charge of Energy and Climate Action and Water, Environment and Blue Economy, Grammenos Mastrojeni and Almotaz Abadi, stated that the 4th UfM Working group on Environment and Climate change “has witnessed a vital discussion on how to identify links between the global climate and biodiversity agendas and UfM’s and its partners’ work in the Mediterranean Region. The working group has underlined the need to accelerate the shift towards green, circular economy and massively scale up actions and investments towards adaptation and resilience in our region.”
During the meeting, participants also reiterated the importance of the Agenda 2030 for a Greener Med and welcomed the efforts to harmonize and improve monitoring and reporting on the state of the environment in the region with UN SDSN and the newly launched Medstat V programme. The participating countries updated and provided information in regard to their current activities on climate change and environment, their main policy actions and initiatives foreseen and ongoing efforts to restore biodiversity, reverse biodiversity loss and address climate change, following conferences of COP27 and COP15, as well as on how the principles of circularity and sustainability are integrated in key economic sectors.
Different initiatives and projects also shared their experiences, including the Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030, the Sustainable Food System (SFS)- MED platform, PRIMA, Med4Waste, Plastic Busters CAP, TouMaLi, Interreg Euro-MED governance projects, and WES Call for Champions.
At the end of the meeting, participants showed an overall willingness to contribute and participate proactively in advancing further on the common 2030GreenerMed Agenda and Climate Action Road Map and agreed of a new meeting of the Working Group by 2024.
Prior to the working group, a back-to-back webinar on urban organic waste was organized by Med4Waste project, on 23 May 2023. Following the International Compost Awareness Week 2023, the webinar aimed at highlight and exchange Mediterranean good practices on urban organic waste management for a more resilient Mediterranean agriculture. Through ENI CBC MED projects, this webinar revealed how compost can be recovered and better waste management in municipalities. Through PRIMA projects, the interventions demonstrated the potential to use compost and reclaimed by-products to enrich agricultural soils in Mediterranean rural areas. In addition, the link to policy areas and transversal initiatives, such as the Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean (SFS-MED), a strategic initiative developed by FAO, CIHEAM and UfM, was also showcased as a key element of action to jointly move towards more sustainable agri-food systems in the Mediterranean region.