After 2 years of disruption due to the pandemic, UfM member countries and key stakeholders of the region met again physically, in Sitges just south of Barcelona, on 24 May 2023 for the 4th meeting of the UfM Working Group on Environment and Climate Change.

This annual gathering aims to provide updates on the main policy actions on environment and climate change of the UfM as well as progress on global and regional initiatives, programs and projects to enhance the Mediterranean’s capacity toward achieving a green, circular and inclusive economy and climate resilience.

Taking stock of the advances in the implementation of the 2021 UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Action by way of the 2030GreenerMed Agenda (in combination with its 2021 Baseline Assessment) and the Climate Action Work Plan was at the core of the meeting, as were exchanges on key ongoing regional efforts, country needs and priorities, the 2023 calendar of activities and next steps forward.

Member countries and key stakeholders of the UfM Working Group on Environment and Climate Change during the 4th meeting of the Working Group.

MIO-ECSDE was present and contributed to the session on GreenerMed-associated activities. Ms Anastasia Roniotes, Head Officer of MIO-ECSDE and Dr. Joan Colón, Head of the Sustainability Accounting and Optimization Unit (BETA TC) jointly presented the Med4Waste effort to capitalize on lessons learned in organic waste management in the Mediterranean and an overview of the role of organic matter in soil health and the practice of carbon farming.

At the closing of the meeting, Prof.  Michael Scoullos, WES Team Leader and MIO-ECSDE Chair announced the new WES Call for Champions of Plastic Pollution Prevention in the Mediterranean to encourage voluntary actions and motivate advancement and commitment in combating pollution by plastics (more information here).

Among the various other projects that shared their experiences, the recently launched UfM labelled Interreg Euro-MED governance projects outlined the four Missions of the programme, one of them being dedicated to strengthen an innovative and sustainable Mediterranean economy. MIO-ECSDE, among other tasks, is involved in the transferring, mentoring and twinning activities of this specific Mission, to enhance the capacities of public and private organisations for the much-needed green-blue transition.

The meeting reconfirmed the overall willingness of all participants to contribute and participate proactively in advancing further the common 2030GreenerMed Agenda and Climate Action Road Map, and increase the synergies between the environment and climate agendas of the UfM. All parties are looking forward to the next meeting of the UfM Environment and Climate Change Working Group in 2024.

Read in French here