The EU-funded SWIM-H2020 SM Project organized in Beirut a National Meeting around sustainable water resources and a clean environment in the Mediterranean. The Project (2016-2019) is a key Regional Project aiming to contribute to reduced marine pollution and sustainable use of scarce water resources in the Mediterranean Region with emphasis on the countries of North Africa and the Middle East.
The aim of the National Meeting in Lebanon was to present what was achieved so far, and what is yet to be implemented till April 2019 when the present phase of the programme will end.
The National Meeting was attended by 50 attendees representing the Office of the Prime Minister, the EU Delegation to Lebanon, the Ministry of Energy and Water, the Ministry of Environment, International Organizations, Academia, Environmental NGOs and the Media.
The SWIM-H2020 SM Project ran 5 main activities in Lebanon on the topics of:
IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) at the river basin scale, with a focus on capacity building and implementation aspects; Private Sector involvement in water infrastructure with emphasis on wastewater treatment plants and non-conventional water resources; Abatement of industrial pollution; Sustainable treatment of leachate from landfills and; Assessment of the cost of environmental degradation.
These were implemented with the valuable contribution of the relevant Ministries and other Lebanese stakeholders (local authorities, river basin authorities, banks, NGOs, etc.) and in collaboration with other regional actors and projects active in Lebanon, thanks to which satisfactory progress has been achieved so far. Furthermore, Lebanon has fully benefitted from the opportunities offered in the regional component of the project, participating in all of the on-site trainings and study tours (12) and is champion in the Peer-to-Peer exchanges (5) among which the one on one on mobilizing the private sector for funding environmental/ water projects where the contribution of the Central Bank of Lebanon and the Lebanese banks, in general, was greatly appreciated.
“The National Meeting of Lebanon allows us to be optimistic because, in spite of the shortcomings and difficulties, there is progress in several water and environmental issues and also a continuous effort to the right direction by national, EU supported Initiatives (such as theSWIM-Horizon 2020SM) as well as other projects (bilateral etc). Hopefully all these activities will enhance expertise, awareness and political will to help Lebanon to effectively address its challenges and shift to a sustainable development path”, said Professor Michael Scoullos, SWIM-H2020 SM Team Leader.
"Fighting water pollution in the Mediterranean is key to the success of our Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, and we remain committed to help Lebanon enjoy a safer, healthier environment," said Rein Nieland, representing the European Union Delegation to Lebanon.
The National Meeting in Lebanon offered, through the planned panel discussion, the opportunity to other key projects, donors and processes working on various aspects of sustainable water management and environmental protection in Lebanon with positive impact on the Mediterranean as a whole, to also present their status and progress, promoting in this way complementarity and synergies.
The development and implementation of the Project would not be feasible without the collaboration with the SWIM-H2020 SM Focal Points in the Ministries in charge of Water and of Environment of the Partner Countries, which also constitute the SWIM-H2020 SM Steering Committee, Regional bodies forming the Project's Institutional Partners, namely the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Mediterranean Action Plan of UN Environment (UN Environment/MAP), relevant EU Institutions and Agencies (DG ENV, NEAR, Research, MARE, the European Investment Bank, and the European Environment Agency) as well as other Regional Actors, Initiatives and Projects (SwitchMed, BlueGeen Med CS, CLIMA South, GWP-Med, etc.).
The SWIM- H2020 SM Project covers 8 partner countries and has a budget of Euros 6,705,000. It organizes over 100 activities out of which 50 are national and 35 are regional, and tackles 21 themes.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Lisa Papadogeorgaki Communications Officer SWIM-H2020 SM, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Nada Haddad, Local Communications Officer, Beirut, Lebanon, Email: email@example.com
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SWIM and Horizon 2020 Support Mechanism Project
The SWIM-H2020 SM EU-funded Project aims to contribute to the sustainable use of scarce water resources and properly manage municipal waste, industrial emissions and waste water, and therefore enhance, directly and indirectly, resilience to climate variability and change in the entire region with emphasis on the countries of North Africa and the Middle East (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, [Syria] and Tunisia).
The civil society component of SWIM-H2020 SM is facilitated by the UfM labelled BlueGreen project and network.