In view of the upcoming 2nd UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Action, scheduled to take place in Egypt, a UfM Online Stakeholder Consultation was launched on the 22nd of July and remained active till the 31st of August 2020. MIO-ECSDE, through the EU-funded regional project “Water and the Environment Support (WES) in the ENI Southern Neighbourhood region”, provided expert support to the UfM Co-Presidencies in the design and implementation of the Stakeholder Consultation.

The aim of the consultation was to: provide the possibility to an even wider range of relevant actors to consult on the priority themes identified by the UfM countries that will feed the joint post-2020 Environment and Climate Action agenda; and maintain a meaningful participatory engagement of Mediterranean and other stakeholders in the formulation of relevant regional policy, common axes of work and joint actions.

The consultation’s questionnaire and supporting documentation was available in English, French, and Arabic. Stakeholders were invited to view, prior to completing the questionnaire, the introductory themes, and priorities. For reference, the full version of the questionnaire is available in English, French, and Arabic.

197 people from 29 countries participated in the online UfM Stakeholder Consultation. Of these, 165 completed all or most of the questions. The respondents’ gender profile was 50/50 with 110 replies provided in English, 35 in Arabic, and 20 in French.

The participants represented a wide range of stakeholder groups: 25% were NGO representatives, 17% academia or research institutions, 9% ministries (environment, education, water, etc.), 9% international organizations, 7% other government agencies, 7% private sector, followed by donor institutions (2%) and local authorities (1%). The remaining 23% were various other types of stakeholders: intergovernmental bodies, media, parliamentarians, protected area managers, international projects, experts, educators, etc.

Overall, the results confirmed that the themes to be addressed under the UfM Environment and Climate Action agendas are highly relevant. The consultation gave the opportunity for a collection of valuable insights and additional ideas that can inform and inspire the next steps in the UfM’s agendas: from the prioritization of specific thematic areas, to how meaningful engagement of stakeholders is in the region and at country level; what stakeholders feel is needed to transition towards an inclusive green economy; how tools such as smartphone apps, satellites, remote sensing, etc., should be used more frequently, and much more.

On whether post-COVID-19 recovery in the Mediterranean can be linked to a more just, resilient, and climate-neutral economy, there is concern that the economic recovery will be prioritized over any social and environmental impacts and, as such, jeopardize the transition. Short-term environmental gains vs a complete rethink of the economy in terms of making it more sustainable and green are feared to be more likely.

Read the full report here

Read this in French here