Photo © Mhobl
The “Horizon 2020 Mediterranean report – Toward shared environmental information systems” has been coordinated by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan with financial support from the European Commission under the ENPI-SEIS project. It is part of the mid-term review of the Horizon 2020 Initiative, which aims to reduce pollution in the Mediterranean between 2006 and 2020. It focuses on three main environmental topics: waste water and sanitation, solid municipal waste and industrial emissions.
The report covers Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, which work with the European Union within the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, said: “Countries have put tremendous efforts into submitting data and seeking a better understanding of the pressures on the Mediterranean, an important step in cutting the pollution of the sea. However, the region needs to work even harder together if it is to meet its target to depollute the sea by 2020.”
There are still many data gaps for the topics covered by the report, in particular for wastewater management. Countries should also invest in creating an emissions inventory to show annual emissions of pollutants from different industrial facilities, the report says. Despite the multiplicity of activities already being carried out by civil society and governments in the region to tackle the pollution problem, there is still scope for intensifying cooperation and information sharing. This is a necessary step towards regular progress in assessing the status of the Mediterranean. Applying all these measures could make policy more effective in reducing pollution in coming years.
The report will be presented today at the Union for the Mediterranean meeting of environment ministers in Athens.
Press Release: European Environment Agency (EEA), May 2014