The Plastic Busters Initiative kick-started in 2013 to address some of the scientific and policy gaps existing at the time in the Mediterranean region. Since then, improvements have been implemented on the science policy interface, with Plastic Busters contributing to the regional policy context as well as being informed by it. Born under the umbrella of SDSN Mediterranean (United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network), the Initiative provides a concrete opportunity to like-minded projects dealing with marine litter issues to get together and fully explore the potential for synergies towards ensuring aligned and synchronized marine litter activities across the Mediterranean. The Plastic Busters Initiative strives to push forward a shared common objective: to effectively tackle the issue of marine litter in the Mediterranean by addressing its entire management cycle, from monitoring and assessment to prevention and mitigation, thus contributing to evidence- and science-based support to governance. WES project has contributed in the publication attached which features recommendations for a litter-free healthy Mediterranean. The leaflet that has been presented in several UfM fora.
The second WES Steering Committee meeting will now be organised on-line on Monday 23 November 2020. The Steering Committee will bring together the WES Water and Environment Focal Points from the Partner Countries, the European Commission, institutional partners, representatives of the new WES Demonstration projects and regional organisations. The meeting will be co-chaired by the Contracting Authority - the European Commission, Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR). During the meeting the progress of the project since the previous SCM (September 2019) and the way ahead will be discussed, leading to the endorsement of the project’s Workplan for the next twelve months.
WES has been instrumental in the compilation of a report entitled: Reaching the 2020 Horizon: 14 years of Mediterranean cooperation on Environment - the H2020 Initiative for a cleaner Mediterranean. It focuses on: overall achievements of the H2020 Initiative; achievements, opportunities and challenges per H2020 component (investments for pollution reduction and prevention, capacity building, review and monitoring); conclusions and recommendations particularly in view of the UfM’s Environment Agenda (“2030GreenerMed”) that was endorsed by the 2nd UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Action. It is a UfM publication and is available in English, French and Arabic.
A new four-year EU funded regional support project has just been launched. The Water and Environment Support project in the ENI Southern Neighbourhood region aims at protecting the environment and improving the management of scarce water resources in the Mediterranean. It will tackle problems related to pollution prevention and water use efficiency. This new project capitalizes on previous successful EU funded programmes like SWIM-Horizon 2020. The WES Partner Countries, where most activities will be implemented, are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia. Regional activities of the project are also open for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mauritania, Montenegro and Turkey.