Wide participation exchanging views on environment and water in the Mediterranean

More than 100 Members of Parliament, media and representatives of civil society working on environment and water issues got together from 22-24 November 2017, in Nicosia, to get informed, exchange views and provide suggestions on key Mediterranean processes on environment and water in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participants originated from Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia along with the members of the United Nations Environment, UNESCO, UNECE, the Union for Mediterranean (UfM) and League of Arab States (LAS).

Emphasis was on the state of play under the Horizon 2020 Initiative for a cleaner Mediterranean and on the recent developments within the Mediterranean water agenda. Views about the existing and emerging challenges and opportunities, priorities and appropriate strategies, as well as the progress made so far in these agendas, were debated. Among others, progress of regional projects was presented like of the GWP Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) in the Mediterranean, the GWP Mediterranean ‘Med Water Matchmaker’ supported by Sida, and the UfM labelled BlueGreen MED-CS Project and Mechanism.

Practical solutions for overcoming strategic problems and bottlenecks were suggested. The role of MPs for making these happen was in the focus, including their synergy with capacitated civil society as well as informed media. Among others, a session on water & gender was facilitated by GWP-Med, leading to recommendations for action.

A highlight was the session on the 22nd of November 2017 that took place at the House of Representatives of Cyprus in which participants were received by the Chairman of the Environment Committee, Mr. Adamos Adamou. The session was dedicated to the role of Members of Mediterranean Parliaments in promoting sustainable development in the region and in promoting education and awareness for sustainable development.

The venue for these interactions was provided by the regional training workshop on ‘Strengthening Stakeholder Engagement in the Mediterranean Environment and Water agendas’ organised by the EU-supported SWIM-H2020 SM Project in partnering with the Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD), the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute and the Parliament of Cyprus, the GWP WACDEP, the GWP-Med ‘Med Water Matchmaker’ Project supported by Sida, and the UfM labelled BlueGreen MED-CS Project and Mechanism.  A SWIM-H2020 SM Regional Training on Education for Sustainable Development was organized in conjunction.

The recommendations of the event will feed into the ongoing work of the H2020 Initiative, the UfM Working Group on Environment and on Climate Change as well as the UfM Water Expert Group in its lead towards a new UfM Water Agenda.

The annual meeting of COMPSUD took place in conjunction with the event, reviewing progress and defining activities for the coming period. During that, the new COMPSUD Board was elected. Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou, who chaired the Circle for the past four years, promised to remain as committed and active as she was during her Chairmanship. She passed the torch on to the Moroccan Member of Parliament, Moh Rejdali, while the two new Vice-Chairs are now the Egyptian Member of Parliament Mohamed Khalifa and the Greek Member of Parliament Kostas Skrekas. COMPSUD’s technical secretariat is facilitated since its establishment in 2002 by MIO-ECSDE and GWP-Med.