kick-off meeting with the WestMED Italian National Hub

On Monday 25 February​ the kick-off meeting with the WestMED Italian National Hub was held in Rome, at the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hosted by the WestMED National Coordinators for Italy, notably the Department of Cohesion within the Italian Presidency of Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting gathered about 40 organisations amongst Regional Authorities, National Ministries and other relevant stakeholders for the Blue Economy in Italy.

The kick-off meeting was aimed to introduce the WestMed Assistance Mechanism (WMAM), its goals, functions and role, so to initiate a dialogue for the identification of the national priorities for strategic projects to be supported by the initiative. After an overview of the activities implemented, the project ideas identified in Algiers, as well as the many areas currently being “work in progress”, the National Hub shared a calendar of possible events identified as a basis for the national Road-Show, and discussed the next steps foreseen for the governance of the initiative at national level.

Stakeholders involved expressed their appreciation of the work done so far, and those involved in the Algiers Stakeholders Conference confirmed the relevance of the initiative as a platform to share concrete project ideas. The Managing Authority for the ENI CBC Programme also expressed gratitude for the support given in expanding the partner countries as part of the Algiers Stakeholders Workshop. In exchange with participants, a series of follow-up actions have been identified, including the set-up of possible thematic groups charged with providing strategic advice to the National hub. Further activities will be published on the Linked-in page and the Italian section of the WMAM website

100 + stakeholders at the WestMED Workshop Agadir, Morocco

A WestMED workshop was held at the Salon Halieutis, in the 22th February 2019. It was attended by more than a hundred persons coming from private and public sectors, fishermen, fishery Department, students, and other blue economy stakeholders. The event aimed to promote and to present the WestMed Initiative and its implementation in Morocco.

 

The opening of the workshop was conducted by Mr. Yassine el Arroussi, representing the Moroccan Fishery Department. He welcomed the participants and thanked the EU Delegation in Morocco and the National Hub of France, for their participation in the workshop. He mentioned the major objectives of the Westmed initiative and recalled that it represents a part of the Moroccan blue economy strategy, initiated by the blue belt Initiative launched by Morocco during the COP22 of the Climate Change.
Mr. Didier Nils, head of the Cooperation section, Delegation of the European Union in Morocco, explained that the WestMED Initiative is a large scale program and that the EU in general as well as its Delegation in Rabat are fully supporting this Initiative. He also recalled the strengths of the region in the blue economy sector and the challenges facing the development of the region. He encouraged to benefit from all available funds.
Mr. Aomar Bourhim, Moroccan WestMed coordinator, recalled that the workshop is part of a series of workshops that were already held to promote WestMed Initiative in Morocco. He also presented the countries and the partners involved in the Initiative. In his speech, he also evoked the context and the history of the initiative and its importance for the sustainable development.

 

Mr. Mohammed Malouli Idrissi, Moroccan National Hub, recalled the priorities for action adopted according the Algiers Declaration, the priority actions for Morocco and the objectives of the Initiative and their related goals. He also drew up the roles and objectives of the assistance mechanism, in particular the National Hub. And finally, he presented a list of possible funds.

 

Mr. Herpés, French National Hub, clarified that the WestMED Initiative is part of a pro-active cooperation logic that aims to support the development of the blue economy. He explained the organization of the Assistance Mechanism, the National Hubs mission, and enounced that the steering committee is now studying the feasibility of labeling projects related to the Initiative priorities to support them while applying in European calls. He mentioned the project ideas that followed the lab activities in Algiers conference.

 

At the end of the event, the participants asked some questions about future projects and the possibility of integrating these projects. Explanations were given by the panelists.

 

Besides the organization of the workshop, the assistance mechanism was, since the beginning of Halieutis Salon present and continuously active at the EU Delegation stand, in order to promote the Initiative and the opportunities it provides. As a result, Mr. Ayman Jghab, Moroccan National Hub assistant, conducted more than twenty meeting with professionals, entrepreneurs, public institutions representatives, and blue economy stakeholders.

Launch of a new initiative on Maritime Spatial Planning

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the European Commission will launch, MSPGlobal, a new global project on maritime spatial planning, on 11 and 12 February at UNESCO Headquarters. The project aims to promote better maritime spatial planning with a view to avoiding conflicts and improving the governance of human activities at sea such as aquaculture, tourism, marine energy, and exploitation of the seabed.

The launch conference will bring together experts, political decision-makers and stakeholders, providing them with an opportunity to take stock of existing experiences in maritime spatial planning and discuss the challenges they raise, notably with regard to cross-border cooperation.

The three-year MSPglobal project aims to develop international guidelines on maritime spatial planning and regulate activities in coastal and marine waters, which have grown significantly in recent decades.

Two pilot projects will be implemented under MSPglobal to create a repository of data, knowledge, policies and decision-making tools for maritime spatial planning. Their objective is also to strengthen local authorities’ data management capacities. The first pilot project will be deployed in the Western Mediterranean (Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia), the second in the Southeast Pacific with a specific cross-border exercise in the historic bay of Guayaquil (Ecuador and Peru). Parallel training activities will also be organized with experts from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Libya, Mauritania, Panama, Peru and Portugal.

The MSPglobal project, combined with the implementation of the nine actions of the Joint Roadmap published by the IOC and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in 2017, aims to treble the area of territorial waters covered by a maritime spatial planning system by 2030.

The event will be broadcast live: http://webcast.unesco.org/live/room-04/en

Source: https://en.unesco.org/news/launch-new-initiative-maritime-spatial-planning

 

 

First call for proposals: 41 projects approved for funding

During its last meeting which took place for the very first time in Cairo (Egypt) on 29-30 January 2019, the Joint Monitoring Committee (decision-making body of the ENI CBC Med Programme composed of the representatives of 13 participating countries) approved a list of 41 projectsrecommended for funding by the Projects Selection Committee.

Based on the quality of the proposals assessed, the Joint Monitoring Committee has decided to increase the budget of the call, within the 20% limit set by the EU rules, and finance more projects. Overall, the value of the 41 approved projects is €110 million, of which €100 million of EU contribution. The initial EU contribution to the call was €84,6 million.

More projects lead by organizations from Mediterranean Partner Countries

One the key outcomes of this first call is the substantial increase of projects leaded by organizations from Mediterranean Partner Countries (8 in a single call against 6 during the whole 2007-2013 period): this positive trend highlights a growing ownership of the ENI CBC Med Programme by all 13 participating countries.

Out of 282 organizations involved in the approved projects, 61% are established in Mediterranean Partner Countries.

Special attention to young people and women

Based on the 11 thematic priorities addressed by the call, the 41 approved will implement concerted actions which reflect the most relevant challenges and needs of the 13 participating countries (Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia) in the fields of business development, innovation, social inclusion and fight against poverty as well as environmental sustainability.

Consistently with the objectives of the Programme, the approved projects pay special attention to young people and women in order to foster their participation in community and economic life through actions supporting the access to the job market and the development of professional skills.

Next steps

All 92 applicants involved in the second step of the call for proposals will receive a letter of the Managing Authority containing the results of the evaluation.

Selected beneficiaries will soon start the process towards the signing of the grant contract with the Managing Authority, allowing to start the implementation of the planned activities.

First call for proposals: list of approved projects (01.02.2019)

 

Source: http://www.enpicbcmed.eu/communication/first-call-proposals-41-projects-approved-funding

Source image: https://www.euneighbours.eu/en/south/stay-informed/news/mediterranean-sea-basin-programme-first-call-proposals-41-projects

 

 

 

 

WestMED: European Commission makes €1.4 million available for local support

Meeting on 3 October in Algiers, the governing body of the Western Mediterranean Initiative has launched a €1.4 million assistance mechanism set up by the European Commission.

With this mechanism, the Commission will support the 10 participating countries and their stakeholders to implement this joint effort.

WestMED is a shared initiative between EU and non-EU countries. It supports projects that foster the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean sea basin. Countries involved are Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia.

The European Commission’s €1.4 million additional funding will help WestMED countries to set up national hubs that can give tailor-made, local support when preparing project proposals. It can also be used to help to further promote the initiative and provide information to maritime stakeholders.

Through the initiative, already eight projects have received a total funding of about 7.6 million euros. The projects are best practice examples of cross-border cooperation targeting safety, environmental protection and sustainable economic development. For example

  • local Tunisian fishing communities are cooperating with Italian and French partners to develop sustainable fisheries in the region
  • maritime training institutes and academies, in collaboration with French, Spanish and Italian companies and partners, work to develop new skills and professions in maritime sectors. This will lead to new jobs and increased mobility of students and workers
  • several West Med countries participate in a new EU-funded project on Maritime Spatial Planning, which will help to better manage maritime activities
  • Morocco is involved in a project about algal forest restoration
  • Algeria participates in a project about preparedness in oils spill response

Further progress is expected in the coming months. A  WestMED stakeholders Conference is scheduled in Algiers on 3 December 2018, back to back with a Ministerial meeting.

Join the discussion – WestMed stakeholder conference

Barcelona, February 2 – 2017 | Register here

In 2016, four stakeholder meetings have been organised in different cities around the Mediterranean.

In the meantime a lot has happened and the project is well underway.

Now we would like to call on your expertise again to help shape the future of the western Mediterranean.

Read more about this event and join us in Barcelona. Registration is now open. Events page