publish date 2022-11-09 09:58:40
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and the Union for the Mediterranean announced, on Wednesday, during the COP27 conference in Sharm El Sheikh, the establishment of the Mediterranean Partnership, to support the development of a sustainable blue economy in the countries of the southern neighbors of the European Union in the Mediterranean region, starting from Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.
The Blue Mediterranean Partnership, which was reviewed by the Kingdom, intends to create a new financial instrument, which brings together contributions from donors and beneficiary countries in the southern neighbourhood, to provide both capital spending and technical assistance grants for sustainable blue economy projects, which will help bridge an investment gap estimated at about 6 billion euros in the next eight years.
The head of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Nayef Bakheet, said during the partnership announcement ceremony, that “Jordan’s access to the sea is restricted, and therefore it is very expensive and there is an urgent need in the country for a comprehensive and integrated management of water resources and solid waste management, including sustainable desalination, To protect ecosystems and precious water resources, the Blue-Mediterranean Partnership will increase funding opportunities along with policy reforms.”
The Mediterranean Basin is considered a marine biodiversity hotspot and a vital resource for economic activities for 480 million people living in 22 countries in the region and is the fifth largest economy in the region after France, Italy, Spain and Turkey, generating an annual economic value of more than $450 billion.
However, the Mediterranean ecosystem is under threat from habitat loss and degradation, overfishing, pollution and climate change.
This partnership will advance the principles of Sustainable Blue Economy Finance (SBEFP), the world’s first global guiding framework that ensures investments are aligned with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 14 “Life Underwater”.
The Blue Mediterranean Partnership is the partners’ response to the commitments made at the EU level to fully integrate the blue economy into the Green Deal, the priorities identified in the new EU Agenda for the Mediterranean, the Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Declaration on the sustainable blue economy and the development of the The UfM’s blue economy agenda as well as the environmental challenges facing the Mediterranean region have received broad political support, including from the European Commission.
This aims to bring together international donors, recipient countries, financial institutions, and interested charities to support policy reforms, attract donor funding, and mobilize public and private funding for projects initially in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.
To achieve these goals, the partnership aims to support and attract investments in a sustainable blue economy and policy reforms, prioritizing innovation, including, where possible, natural capital and nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation and will help finance wastewater treatment and waste management facilities Reducing solid and plastic waste will reduce pollution entering the sea, reduce pressure on fisheries through sustainable aquaculture, improve coastal resilience investments, and reduce emissions through sustainable marine mobility.
– European commitment –
The EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginius Sinkevichos, emphasized that promoting a sustainable blue economy in the EU and its sea basins is a commitment of the European Commission and the Blue Mediterranean Partnership will strive to provide support to our Mediterranean neighbors by developing sustainable blue economy sectors and activities.
UfM Secretary-General Nasser Kamel said: “We are raising the bar for our collective ambitions of governments, civil society, research and the private sector to ensure that marine activities are sustainable, innovative and job-oriented, and that they address the major challenges of our time. At the same time, we are dealing with important drivers of recovery from the epidemic and to restructure the sector in the long term.”
The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Odile Renaud Basso, stressed that the oceans are life, and the Mediterranean was the cradle in which our societies were born and flourished and is the source of life, wealth and prosperity, and therefore its protection is of great importance to all of us and this Blue Mediterranean Partnership is a call to action from the partner countries and UNHCR European.
She added that sustainable development and environmental protection are at the core of the EBRD’s mandate, and we have experience achieving impact through environmental partnerships. We look forward to uniting efforts to clean up and conserve our sea.
European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer said: “I am delighted that the Blue-Mediterranean Partnership has strong support and the European Investment Bank and the European Union Climate Bank are strengthening the sustainable blue economy to support investments that keep our oceans and seas healthy and I hope many others will join us.”
He added that partnerships such as the Blue Mediterranean have an effective role in accelerating tangible blue economy projects, addressing environmental challenges, and maintaining economic prosperity in the Mediterranean region.
The President of the French Development Agency Remy Rio said that promoting a sustainable blue economy is critical in the Mediterranean basin, but it is also a symbol of many environmental issues and the Blue Mediterranean Partnership plans to do this on the right scale, in the most relevant sectors and with dedicated financial instruments.
“This is how we will benefit and initiate transformational change as we support this new partnership that will also be able to benefit from the experience of the French Development Agency as a blue bank in the region,” said Rio.
Christian Kramer, a member of the management committee of the German Reconstruction Bank, emphasized: “The Mediterranean has formed over millions of years as an interface between Europe and the Middle East and North Africa, linking them both naturally and through fate. But do we only need a few decades to pollute it to the point of irreversible deterioration? We have to do a lot more and faster than before to better protect and preserve it.”
“We must take into account both the challenges and the environmental and economic conditions in all projects and, above all, the involvement of the affected people and only then will the conservation, development and sustainable use of the Mediterranean become possible. The German Development Bank is fully prepared to support this important endeavour,” Kramer said.
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Source : اخبار الاردن