Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Gradual sustainable development

Written by Michel Neumuller on Tuesday, December 11th 2012 à 08:22 | Read 1120 times

A Global Environment Facility (GEF) regional project aims to increase sustainable development projects by creating cooperation between them. Plan Bleu enables this to happen.

Lina Tode :“other candidates are welcome. The scheme is open to Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Syria and the Palestinian Territories” (photo XDR)
Lina Tode :“other candidates are welcome. The scheme is open to Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Syria and the Palestinian Territories” (photo XDR)
Sustainable development has certainly been the best shared concept in the Southern Mediterranean in 2012.  But how do we translate the idea into practice?  This is the goal of the Regional Governance and Knowledge generation Projec t that the World Bank and Plan Bleu launched in late January.   

This long-term project, which has been assigned to Plan Bleu, will run until the end of June 2015.  With €2.4 million “it shall enable willing countries to identify the elements of an integration strategy for environmental concerns in sectoral development policies”, explains Lina Tode.

As Plan Bleu Head of Mission, she highlights the system’s main benefit.  “It allows beneficiaries to agree on the areas to be developed.  Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia, who have entered into the process, form its Steering Committee. 

It all began in late January 2012 in Marseille, when the World Bank, which oversees it, and Plan Bleu, which implements it, signed an agreement to launch the project, which is funded by the GEF.  A specific workshop took place back-to-back with the Conference called “Shifting to a Green Economy in the Mediterranean Region” organised in Marseille in late May by OCEMO, the CMI with Plan Bleu and FEMISE, and brought together around twenty actors in the Mediterranean.

Flexibility of the mechanism

It all began in late January 2012 in Marseille (photo XDR)
It all began in late January 2012 in Marseille (photo XDR)
They do not necessarily match the usual profile of environmental experts.  Moroccan national Ali Abbasi is an engineer at the Department of Water and Environment, while his colleague, Lebanese national Georges Abi Saleh works in a bank and Tunisian-born Nazeh Ben Amar represents the Confederation of Citizen Enterprises in his country.  The range of projects covered by the regional project can be wide open. 

“It seemed essential to us to actually establish links between the activities and increase the assessment tools for the measures undertaken”, says Lina Tode.

A consulting firm will audit various Lebanese businesses that wish to receive funding from the World Bank.  This will enable them to reduce their emissions in aquatic environments.  The result of the tests carried out will help companies identify the most effective techniques.  Companies will then be able to provide the necessary documentation to benefit from the funding scheme. “The flexibility of the mechanism allows recipients to enter a virtuous circle”, according to Mrs Tode.

Half the budget for the Regional Governance and Knowledge Development Project has been engaged. “Other candidates are welcome.  The scheme is open to Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Syria and the Palestinian Territories”. Obviously the last two countries are going through very serious problems, but because of the long-term nature of the project, the opportunity to benefit from it is still open to them.

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