Many important challenges facing the Mediterranean were part of the meeting discussions, namely the creation of marine parks in the Mediterranean as a means of preserving biodiversity, waste management in the Turkish costal sites of the Mediterranean sea, waste management in coastal areas of Croatia as well as protection of the marine environment.
Husseini gave a speech on the UfMS vision, its future plan of action in the Environment and Water Sector, as well as ways to finance energy, water and environment projects. He also recalled the role and mandate of the UfM Secretariat in its six priority areas. “Albeit the the Energy Division and the Environment & Water Division are separate” he said, “the two sectors will closely work together to create synergy in projects that will imply both strategies”.
Husseini highlighted the importance of UfM Secretariat finding funding sources, a role held by the Business Development and Funding Division. Thus, he welcomed the idea of the ARLEM assembly for a “Financing Atlas” that includes breakdown of financing opportunities and synergies between different schemes and institutions, assuring the Secretariat’s support to this initiative. He also underlined the role of international financing institutions , private foundations and private sector in funding “green” projects, currently may be more costly, but with higher long-term added value.
He also highlighted the added value of the Secretariat in the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, which will concentrate on major-impact projects that are of high priority but cannot be implemented because of political or other difficulties. ”Creating a genuine and transparent relationship with all the Secretariat’s partners, Husseini added, “is of crucial importance for the final outcomes in project promotion”.
Following his intervention, Tomas Dupla Del Moral, Director Middle East & South Mediterranean region in the EC spoke about EC financing priorities in the Energy, Water and Environment sectors, and Albrecht Kaupp, team leader of the Euro-Med Energy Market Integration Project (MED-EMIP) in Egypt, talked about the Mediterranean Solar Plan, its opportunities and barriers. A discussion of the three speeches ensued and there were many and optimistic interventions on the subject.