The UfM strengthens collaborative efforts to address the impacts of pollution together with the UN Environment Program / Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP).
13-14 May 2020. The Mediterranean Sea is the most polluted European sea with 200 thousand tons of plastic dumped each year. Also, air pollution from ships in the Mediterranean causes up to 6,000 deaths per year. Both sources of pollution were tackled during the UNEP 21st Meeting of the Members of the Steering Committee of Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development on 13-14 May 2020. With the participation of the UfM, the discussions focused on marine litter, biodiversity, marine protected areas and coastal management, as well as a proposal to make the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, an Emission Control Area for sulphur oxides emitted by oil fuel of ships.
During the two-day online event, the Members of the Commission, also covered concrete collaborative efforts between UN Environment Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) and the UfM, including technology solutions on waste reduction successfully implemented through the Water and Environment Support (WES) project. This EU-funded initiative, part of the UfM Water Agenda, focuses on strengthening the efficient use and reuse of water in urban and rural areas in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.
Furthermore, the 1st Scientific Assessment Report on the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean, and its upcoming Summary for Policymakers, were highlighted as a main contribution to measure the impacts of climate and environmental change in Mediterranean. The report will contribute to the works of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with a chapter dedicated for the first time to the Mediterranean region in its 6th Assessment Report.
The Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development Steering Committee also featured the key outcomes of the UfM consultation on the Blue Economy, which will pave the way towards the preparation of the Second UfM Ministerial Meeting on Blue Economy, tentatively planned in July 2020.
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