On 1-3 June 2021, SCP/RAC convened its National Focal Points for their 13th Meeting, held online.

The main objective of this meeting was to inform the National Focal Points of the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) on the ongoing and future activities of the Centre and to review on SCP/RAC ‘s activities in compliance with the Programme of Work 2020-2021 adopted at the COP of the Barcelona (COP21) held in Napoli in December 2019.

The Focal Points also discussed and approved important topics in view of the next COP of the Barcelona Convention to be held in December 2021 in Antalya (COP22).

Highlights of the active discussion included key activities developed during the biennium 2020-2021:

The Midterm evaluation of the Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP-RAC)

The SCP-RAC is the first intergovernmental agreement in the Mediterranean basin to establish a regional action framework from 2016 to 2027 to promote the shift towards a more sustainable and circular economy. Six years after its adoption by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, SCP/RAC carried out a mid-term evaluation to assess the progress made. The evaluation highlighted that there is still a need to intensify efforts towards SCP and circular economy. It also emphasized the role of EU-funded initiatives like SwitchMed, as well as other ENI-CBC-Med or InterregMed projects, play in the implementation of the SCP-RAP activities in the Region.

The SCP Action Plan addresses key human activities which have an impact on the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment. It defines common objectives and identifies actions guiding the implementation of SCP in four priority areas namely Food, fisheries and agriculture; Goods manufacturing; Tourism and Housing and construction. These areas are the main causes of pollution generation and environmental pressures in the region. The National Focal Points supported the recommendations made, suggesting not to add new sectors like transport, energy or logistics as the current sectors of the SCP Regional Action Plan are extremely relevant for SCP and circular economy, therefore efforts should be centred on these.

Updated list of SCP indicators

In order to monitor the progress on the SCP-RAP, a series of indicators were developed to analyze the state of Sustainable Consumption and Production in Mediterranean countries.

With the support of SwitchMed, the list of SCP indicators has now been reviewed (adding new indicators in line with the SDGs, for example), its database updated and factsheets for each of the selected indicators are being prepared. The indicators – which encompass six thematic areas and a set of macro-indicators – were selected among existing international indicators or new indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The National Focal Points welcomed the new list and the inclusion of new indicators and also expressed their satisfaction for the joint work with Plan Bleu/ Regional Activity Centre that culminated with the integration of the SCP indicators’ list and related factsheets within the Mediterranean Observatory for Environment and Sustainable Development.

The guidelines on tackling single-use plastic products in the Mediterranean

On the 2nd day of the meeting, attention was drawn to SCP/RAC's work regarding the prevention of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution with the presentation and the review of the Guidelines on Tackling single-use plastic products in the Mediterranean.

Prior to this, Ms Hara Xirou, expert from Eunomia Research & Consulting IKE exposed the main findings of the information document prepared for the guidelines drafting. This info doc provides baseline information on consumption, end of life management & impacts associated with beverage bottles, including caps and lids; food containers; straws & cigarette filters in Egypt, Morocco, Montenegro & Greece.

Once finalized, the guidelines will put forward for adoption at the Barcelona Convention COP22 in December.

The quality of the document has been recognized by the National Focal Points who expressed their satisfaction on the analysis on the effect of different policy measures in a Mediterranean context and the relevance of such guidelines to support the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management.

Regional policy measures to support green and circular economy businesses

On the last day of the meeting and prior to the redaction of conclusion and recommendations, a last but not least important item was presented to the National Focal Points. The policy team presented the work carried out for the preparation of a Set of Regional Measures to Support the Development of Green and Circular Businesses and to Strengthen the Demand for more Sustainable Products, following COP21 Decision IG. 24/13. They also presented the consolidated draft of the proposed Regional measures, reviewed after its revision by the National Experts nominated by SCP/RAC Focal Points to support the process.

During the last COP21, Mediterranean countries requested the preparation of a “set of regional measures to support the development of green and circular businesses and strengthen the demand for more sustainable products”. After a group of experts analyzed the situation in each of the 21 countries and a regional consultation took place with many stakeholders, SCP/RAC published the “Regional summary of policy recommendations”. This was the basis for the preparation of a set of 12 regional measures that will be presented at the COP22 for adoption by the Contracting Parties.

The Switchers Support Programme and the platform

The meeting was the occasion to present the recent success of the Switchers Support Programme, that, thanks to EU and UNEP/MAP funding, has gathered more than 100 Business Support Organizations (BSO), facilitating national alliances to coordinate and offer business development services to green entrepreneurs and start-ups. SCP/RAC offers technical and financial support and developed a network of expert mentors, training more than 150 persons in the Mediterranean. 51% of these accredited experts are women.

An instrumental tool of the Programme’s success is the, a new digital platform developed by SCP/RAC and launched earlier this year. To date, 1,800 entrepreneurs registered and are now receiving support through this brand new tool, that enables interactions among the key players of the business ecosystem and gathers all methodologies and tools developed by SCP/RAC.

The team presented explaining that “the platform is a virtual business ecosystem used by key players to find their own path to salient aspects of the Switchers Support Programme’s service offer: Circular and Green Entrepreneurs, Business Support Organizations (BSOs), Mentors and Experts, Financial Institutions, Decision-makers and Corporate buyers and final consumers.

NFPs welcomed the launching of the platform and highlighted its key importance as tool supporting entrepreneurs contributing to green and circular economies in the Mediterranean. The platform is available in French, English and Arabic; a feature that was underlined by the Focal Points.

  • Better Communicating SCP in the Region

The online meeting was also the occasion to present to the Focal Points the Communication and Marketing Strategy of the Centre, that aims at contributing to the successful implementation of SCP/RAC’s mandate and strengthening outreach and engagement, prioritizing and improving content-based communication.

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published on 2021/07/20 15:01:44 GMT+0 last modified 2021-07-13T11:01:40+00:00