11/03/2015

Round Table 1: Mitigating Environmental Challenges in the Mediterranean basin

The first round table of the conference Enhancing Integrated Maritime Policy in the Mediterranean basin" specifically discussed about environmental challenges mitigation actions and the extent to which information and data need to be compiled for an efficient implementation of eco-regional mitigation policies.

Eco-regional-based harmonization of data

With regards to environmental mitigation, it appears that the issue of the lack of regional evidence and data is a cross-cutting one in the Mediterranean. Eco-regional data (understood as a comparable baseline information) regarding the ecological status of the Mediterranean and the potential for maritime economic activities development in the basin as well as their respective drivers and ecological impacts and pressures, need indeed to be fully considered by decision makers. 

Mrs. Dania Abdul Malak, coordinator of the MED-IAMER project, highlights that “regional indicators are national based and need to pass to be regional based.” She details that “This is the reason why Med-IAMER focuses mainly on this integration of information based on eco-regional evidence and on very close interaction with stakeholders to provide the simplest regional information, in our case on the Mediterranean level.”

Therefore, for a relevant and efficient regional environmental monitoring, the decision-making process should take place at the regional level and not the national one, as it curently happens.

Air Pollution Monitoring Comparable Methodologies

The CAIMANS project and the POSEIDON project have been working together to provide integrated data on air pollution monitoring in the Mediterranean area.

Mr.Salvatore Patti, lead partner of the Caimans project; “Caimans started by ship emissions, so ship traffic: through a high resolution dispersion model we obtained a measure of the concentration of the level of pollutants in the air; in the contrary, Poseidon started on the opposite approach. The synergies created as a result of the comparison of data is giving the chance to be able to obtain a method and a tool to export to other ports, to other realities within the Mediterranean.”

Environmental quality as a cross-cutting issue

Quoting the example of the EUSAIR, the European Commission representatives focused on the importance of the environmental quality as a pillar of the EU macro-regional strategies. As underlined by Mrs. Anna Repullo (DG REGIO), “the EC has striven to have real focus on the key issues but you know that the philosophy of the macro-region is to have a cross-cutting approach, so the environment definitely will be part and considered in the other 3 pillars as well, as a cross cutting aspect. Environmental quality will be one piece of the corner stone of the eu strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region.” Following these elements,  Mr. Joachim D’Eugenio (DG ENVI) focused on the importance of macro-regional strategies in the governance of the environmental policy “Environmental aspects are at the heart of our strategies also in the MED programme, we are keen to develop this instrument (strategies) if they are effective tools and contributions that help us to deliver what we want to do and not adding new governance levels, new structures and not creating another platform we have to feed with capacities and resources”.

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