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A new UN Environment - GEF Partnership in the Mediterranean to Enhance Environmental Security

by Arthur Pasquale last modified Jun 06, 2017 07:05 PM
A new UN Environment - GEF Partnership in the Mediterranean to Enhance Environmental Security

Atef Ouerghi RAC SPA

Executing partners of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Mediterranean Sea Programme (MedProgramme): Enhancing Environmental Security held their first meeting on 17 to 19 May 2017, in Athens Greece.

The meeting aimed to create synergies among different partners and to fully enter in the preparation phase of the project documents of the 7 Child Projects of the MedProgramme.

In her welcoming address, Ms Tatiana Hema, Deputy Coordinator of UN Environment/MAP highlighted the opportunity that the MedProgramme provides in contributing to the implementation of the decisions adopted by the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention. She added “We are very confident that this Programme will highly contribute to protecting the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal areas. Our joint efforts in mobilizing resources will make a greater impact”. She noted the specificity of the Programme which is bringing together executing partners from different sectors, including development and investment banks.

Participants to the meeting agreed on clear and feasible timelines and modalities for the whole project preparation process. They came out of the meeting with draft logical frameworks and implementation plans to design the activities included in each Child Project of the Programme.

In his opening presentation of the meeting and his conclusive remarks, Mr. Lorenzo Galbiati, GEF Project Manager of UN Environment/MAP, explained that the 7 individual yet interlinked Child Projects to the MedProgramme aim at achieving large-scale impacts on the global environment. For this reason, the executing partners will have to work in a coordinated matter having in mind the overarching goal of the Programme and not only the specific objectives of each Child Project.

The MedProgramme builds on the success of the previous GEF-funded MedPartnership and ClimVar & ICZM projects. It aims to reduce the major transboundary environmental stresses affecting the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal areas while strengthening climate resilience and water security, and improving the health and livelihoods of coastal populations.

With its wide scope and large GEF grant of 45 million USD approximately, the MedProgramme represents the largest International Waters GEF-funded efforts implemented by UN Environment and one of the biggest multi-focal area Programme ever approved by the GEF. It is supported by several focal areas of the GEF such as International Waters, Chemicals and Waste and Biodiversity, as well as by the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The MedProgramme has been endorsed by 8 GEF eligible Mediterranean countries, namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Montenegro, Morocco and Tunisia.

Through its 7 Child Projects, it is expected to achieve multiple benefits at the national, regional and global levels. It will strategically contribute to the sustainable development efforts in the Mediterranean basin and to the dialogue, cooperation, and therefore peace and security in the region.