MedPartnership and ClimVar projects end, the protection of the Mediterranean goes on
The Steering Committee of the MedPartnership and ClimVar and ICZM held its 5th and last meeting in Athens, Greece, on 3 and 4 November 2015, in the presence of country focal points, executing partners and beneficiaries from the countries of the projects.
The main aim of these GEF-funded projects was to effectively contribute to the implementation of the Barcelona Convention’s Strategic Action Programme to Address Pollution from Land-Based Activities (SAP/MED), the Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean Region (SAP/BIO), and the Action Plan for the implementation of the ICZM Protocol. This included also the integration of climatic variability and change into national strategies for ICZM.
“The MedPartnership and ClimVar & ICZM projects have been instrumental in the implementation of these instruments and their Strategic Action Programme and as a constitution to the sustainable development in the region” said Gaetano Leone Coordinator of the UNEP/MAP in his opening speech.
The MedPartnership and ClimVar & ICZM together have implemented more than 150 activities and 80 demonstration projects. They contributed in saving over 10 million cubic meters of water yearly in several industrial sectors, establishing/supporting the establishment of 7 new MPAs, producing new maps of coastal aquifers, and made possible the proper disposal of over 900 tons of PCBs in 3 different countries. Highlighting the positive trend that these two projects have created, he added: “The results of the two projects went well beyond figures, and created a momentum adding strength and support to the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its principles. The impacts achieved have been reflected in the support expressed by beneficiaries to the follow-up of the two projects in an integrated way with the Mid Term Strategy of the UNEP/MAP”.
The projects supported the organization of more than 500 meetings, workshops, and trainings which have reached out to thousands of stakeholders and provided a platform for local actors, regional experts and international institutions to interact. A number of new techniques and tools were developed to help countries carry out their activities and facilitate communication between scientists and decision-makers.
“MedPartnership helped us develop an ICZM strategy with an action plan, and enhanced capacity building in the country”, said Mr. Andrej Lakic from Montenegro.
Activities carried out under the projects were also instrumental for the creation of inter-ministerial committees in countries such as Croatia, Montenegro, and Algeria, to support the long term sustainability of these processes. Moreover the projects have supported the update of the NAPs in several countries, and allowed the development of a regional climate change adaptation framework to increase the resilience of marine and coastal areas in the Mediterranean to the effects of climate change and variability. “MedPartnership is one of the most successful projects we have worked on with UNEP/MAP especially in the framework of Water Resources and Aquifers Management, and Marine Protected Areas. We are looking forward for a further cooperation especially in the field of climate change as Egypt is one of the most affected countries by the impact of Climate change”, said Ms Heba Shahrawi, Egypt representative.
The projects’ activities produced over 300 documents including technical reports, guidelines and policy analyses.
Expressing Tunisia’s satisfaction of the results of the project, Ms. Sabria Bnouni said “we were particularly satisfied of the strategic and coordinated approach of the activities which enabled us to implement our objective which is to protect the Mediterranean. We are looking forward for a second phase of this project for the continuation of the synergies created”.