Barcelona, 22 March 2014. The Union for the Mediterranean joins the international community in expressing the need to find global and regional solutions to address the challenges surrounding energy and water (water-energy-nexus), highlighting the interlinkage of the two sectors, and the need for more resource-efficiency, which is a particular concern also in the Mediterranean region.
In this regard, the consultants undertaking the current technical preparations of the UfM-labelled project Desalination Facility for the Gaza Strip are also evaluating power supply options that include renewable sources of energy.
The Secretariat, through its project-oriented approach, is currently developing a series of actions to better manage resources and address the environmental and climate change concerns through a more holistic approach. The Secretariat also intends to identify best practices to make water, energy and materials’ efficient ‘Green Industry’ a reality. As a follow-up to Rio+20, and in collaboration with a number of regional partners, the Secretariat is currently working on the assessment of a potential UfM-labelled project which aims to facilitate access to financing to companies adopting Sustainable Consumption Patterns (SCP) /Resource Efficiency models, as well as to promote enabling and demonstration activities for green industries, businesses and local stakeholders.
As part of a wider dialogue, and in preparation of the upcoming UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change, set to take place on13 May 2014, stakeholders from private and public entities as well as country representatives, recently engaged in discussions during a series of meetings in Amman, Jordan (10-15 March, 2014). The aim of the meetings was to outline common social and economic challenges and identify potential ways to address them. Participants agreed on the need for a better understanding, and called for long-term and innovative approaches in order to use resources more efficiently and guarantee a sound and clean environment.
The UfM Secretariat will continue pursuing partnerships with relevant international organisations to improve water and energy access, efficiency and sustainability.