Determination of Priority Actions for the Further Elaboration and Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Mediterranean Sea
A Strategic Action Programme (SAP MED) to address pollution from land-based activities was adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention in 1997. SAP MAP identifies the major pollution problems of the region, indicates the possible control measures, shows the cost of such measures and establishes a work plan and timetable for their implementation. In order to assist the Mediterranean countries the long-term implementation of SAP MED, particularly for the formulation, adoption and implementation of NAPs, the three-year GEF Project was prepared. The project consists of 42 separate activities, which are directed towards the elimination of pollution hot spots, the preparation of regional guidelines and plans for the elimination and control of pollution control, the capacity building, the creation of a sustainable financial platform for the continued implementation of the SAP MED, the preparation of a regional programme for public participation at the preparation and implementation of the National Action Plans (NAPs), the preparation and implementation of NAPs specifically related to the elimination of pollution from land-based activities, and finally the preparation of SAP BIO. Pollution hot spots: From the previous MAP activities a list of pollution hot spots in the Mediterranean, containing more than 100 hot spots, was developed. Within the project a priority list was prepared, applying socio-economic criteria and transboundary significance of each of the pollution hot spots, for the preparation of pre-investment studies. The studies would be prepared by a consultant selected by country's implementing agency by using criteria developed through the Project. The prepared pre-investment studies would be used by national or international investors. Regional cooperative actions: In order to assist at the regional level the administrative, legal and technical basis for pollution control an to assist the countries in the implementation of SAP MED and the formulation of their National Plans to address pollution for land-based activities nine regional guidelines ad eight regional plans are under preparation. Capacity building: Activities on the capacity building in order to improve the competence of the national administrative and technical experts in specific fields to enable the full implementation of SAP MED have received significant role in the Project. They include preparation and implementation of five regional and twenty national training courses on environmental auditing and management, pollution monitoring and inspection, cleaner production techniques and practices, operation and maintenance of waste water treatment plants, river pollution monitoring, and environmental impact assessment. Sustainability of SAP MED: A sustainable financial platform for continued implementation of SAP MED would be created. Activities already undertaken will develop administrative, legal and fiscal mechanisms for the sustainable financing of the implementation of pollution control measures at country level. The introduction of such measures will also demonstrate their economic benefits and will catalyze the use of more integrated approaches to environmental management. Public participation: The participation of the public (NGOs, etc.), at all stages of the preparation and in the implementation of the NAP in each country is a primary aim of the project. Therefore, a regional programme of public participation that will involve the NGOs and include provision of information to the general public is under development. National Action Plans: Formulation and sustainable implementation of NAPs specifically related to the elimination of marine pollution from land-based activities is the ultimate goal of the entire Project. NAPs would be prepared in three steps. The first step is the preparation of National Diagnostic Analysis (NDA) which aim is to establish national priorities for actions. It is the process of the identification and assessment of environmental problems associated with land based activities. The second step is the preparation of sectoral programs concerning the environmentally sound management of sewage, the reduction at source and management of urban solid waste, the control of air pollution from mobile sources, the reduction and control of pollution by the heavy metals, the reduction and control of pollution by the selected organohalogen compounds, and the environmentally sound management of wastewater and solid waste from industrial installations which are sources of BOD. The final step is the integration of the above into NAPs, their adoption and implementation. The countries are receiving financial support for activities at national levels undertaken for the preparation of NAPs. SAP for biodiversity: A regional Strategic Action Plan for the conservation of biological diversity in the Mediterranean Region, which is being prepared under this Project, would be a base for the implementation of recently entered into force the Protocol concerning Special Protected Areas and Biological Diversity in the Mediterranean.
Project accepted into GEF Work Programme, Mar 98. Following approval of the project by the GEF Council in April 1998 negotiations have proceeded with potential partners in the execution. a meeting of partner agencies was held in September '98 to finalise the operational arrangements; as a result, the French GEF (FFEM) has agreed to add US$ 1.6 million to the budget, mostly for the preparation of pre-investment studies in pollution hot spot areas and capacity building, and METAP has also added US$ 450,000 for the coordination of the work on pollution hot spots and capacity building; the project document was finalized and sent to GEF for final approval in April '99; the project is now expected to start by July '00 after the recruitment of the project manager.