The Mediterranean Sea Programme: Enhancing Environmental Security (MedProgramme) aims to improve the health and livelihoods of coastal populations in the Mediterranean region by reducing major transboundary environmental stresses and strengthening climate resilience and water security.Toxic Chemicals
Knowledge is our greatest asset. Coordinating and applying our knowledge across the region is a key to successfully transition to a sustainable future.
The Mediterranean region is composed of transboundary, ecologically connected areas. Following the wisdom found in nature, the MedProgramme promotes knowledge sharing and meaningful cooperation. This is how we ensure protection and eliminate pollution.
In 2020, the Mediterranean Action Plan of the UN Environment Programme announced the launch of the MedProgramme. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project of USD$ 43 million aims to reduce transboundary environmental stresses, strengthen climate resilience and water security, and improve the health and livelihoods of coastal populations in the Mediterranean region.
Seven projects exist under the MedProgramme umbrella, each formed to reflect the priorities adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention to:
The priority actions under the MedProgramme programmes focus on:
The seven MedProgramme projects build critical momentum in the region by demonstrating the power of change. From 2020-2022, these projects have deployed more than 100 coordinated actions at the regional and national level. These actions are expected to stimulate a range of positive impacts, such as:
When we act together, we change together.
MedWaves: converging synergies for planetary transformation.
MedWaves is implementing the activities of the MedProgramme.
In order to address toxic chemicals, MedWaves has proposed an innovative approach to prevent the use of toxic substances identified as country priorities. Considering the high cost of disposal and elimination of POPs and mercury-containing waste, MedWaves seeks to demonstrate the practical replacement of new POPs with the recently listed under the Stockholm Convention and mercury, now regulated under the Minamata Convention. We are ensuring the adoption of environmentally sound alternatives in three target Mediterranean countries; Tunisia, Lebanon and Morocco.
This work focuses on three chemicals in priority sectors, according to national inventories. For example, fluorosurfactant is a global pollutant (PFOS) widely used in carpets, clothing, upholstery, packaging and other materials resistant to water, grease or stains as well as in firefighting at airfields. The pilot project targets the largest users of the PFOS foam; the Civil Defence and public firefighting organisations.
A brominated flame retardant known as HBCD (Hexabromocyclododecane) focussing on importers and manufacturers of EPS/XPS insulation panels; and short chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCP) known to be used in large quantities in the PVC production.
In each pilot project, although the chemicals used differ, the mechanisms to effectively implement change are similar. The first point of intervention is the production of an accurate inventory of the identified priority sectors to produce a database of current users and quantities. The identified groups receive support through a coordinated awareness campaign and legal support for technical staff and political decision makers and officials. The goal of these interventions is to update legislation with mandatory provisions that restrict the import, export and use of these chemicals based on the Stockholm Convention requirements and provide technical assistance for testing and training in the adoption of environmentally sound alternatives.
MedWaves will carry out pilot activities on mercury alternatives to prevent the use of mercury in the health sector, in particular mercury containing measuring devices. This will involve top-down and bottom-up approaches in Lebanon and Tunisia based on the approach developed by World Health Organisation, involving key public servants from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Customs as well as managers, maintenance and procurement staff who have a role in acquiring medical measurement equipment and managing current mercury containing devices and mercury waste.
INPLASTICS offers a set of interactive, innovative education and communication tools to raise awareness regarding toxic additives. The programme builds capacity throughout the region to address the invisible aspects of plastic pollution so that we can all be part of the solution.LIRE PLUS
The EU-funded SwitchMed programme promotes a circular economy in the southern Mediterranean by changing the way goods and services are produced and consumed. In order to achieve this, SwitchMed provides tools and services directly to the private sector, supports an enabling policy environment and facilitates exchange of information among partners and key stakeholders.LIRE PLUS
Transitions to CIRCULAR economy practices in TEXTILE and apparel MSMEs along the lifecycle in Huzhou and Shaoxing is a project that draws on the foundation built from successful sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Sharing knowledge and practices, support is delivered to facilitate the transition to circular economy practices in the textile and fashion industry in Huzhou City and Shaoxing City, China by 2025.LIRE PLUS
JUST2CE promotes a global transition to a circular economy by supporting a more democratic and participatory mechanism of governance over the productive processes that underpin design and management of technologies.LIRE PLUS