Barcelona, 12 May, 2014. Ministers in charge of environment and climate change from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) will gather on 13 May 2014 in Athens to discuss the future strategic directions to reduce the impact of the environmental challenges facing the Mediterranean region and increase resource efficiency.
As the leading element for the de-pollution of the Mediterranean Sea, Ministers will analyse the conclusions and recommendations of the implementation of the Horizon 2020 Initiative’s first phase (2007-2013). Special focus will be made on the ways to tackle climate change and shift towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns as a way to move towards a green and low emissions economy.
In line with the priorities set by the Ministerial Meeting, a number of key activities have been developed by the UfM Secretariat in the field of environment and climate change. As the first project under the Horizon 2020 Initiative, the Senior Officials of the UfM endorsed the “Integrated Programme for Protection of Lake Bizerte against Pollution” in October 2013 and granted it the official UfM label. The project builds on a cooperative method to secure sound environmental management of the lake involving various stakeholders from public entities to private actors and NGOs. Among other lines of action, the Secretariat is also developing the project “Med ReSCP: Post Rio+20 promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns – with emphasis on resource efficiency – in the Mediterranean region”, officially labelled by the 43 UfM member countries last April, 2014. The project aims to provide financing access for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) adopting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) models. It will also stimulate the development of green industries and entrepreneurship through technical assistance and pilot projects.
The Ministerial Meeting will be co-chaired by Mr. Al Shakhshir, Minister of Environment of Jordan and Mr. Janez Potočnik, Commissioner in charge of Environment for the European Union. This will be the first UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change since the launch of the Union for the Mediterranean.