The GEF Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean Large Marine Ecosystem
The GEF Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean LME, implemented by UNEP and the World Bank, responds directly to priorities of the countries of the Mediterranean Sea basin as identified in the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA), and agreed interventions as outlined in the two Strategic Action Plans, SAP-BIO and SAP-MED.
The Mediterranean countries, recognized that there is a need for a coordinated and innovative approach for the implementation of policy reforms, priority interventions and investments that address transboundary pollution and biodiversity conservation priorities identified in the two SAPs and the NAPs. Accordingly, they have agreed on a collective effort for the protection of the environmental resources of the Mediterranean, the Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean Sea Large Marine Ecosystem, led by UNEP and the World Bank, co-funded by the GEF and involving other relevant agencies, IFIs and bilateral and multilateral donors. The Partnership will serve as a catalyst in leveraging policy/legal/institutional reforms as well as additional investments for reversing degradation of the Mediterranean Sea Basin, with its coastal habitats and marine living resources.
The Strategic Partnership, following the model of the GEF Black Sea Basin Strategic Partnership for Nutrient Reduction, consists of two complementary components:
- a Regional Component: "Implementation of agreed actions for the protection of the environmental resources of the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal areas" led by UNEP and already approved by the GEF Council in June 2007;
- the "Investment Fund for the Mediterranean Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Partnership" led by the World Bank and already approved by the GEF Council in August 2006.
The project activities will be carried out in the following GEF eligible countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Montenegro, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. Palestinian Authority also participates. The partners of the project are the following: World Bank; UNEP, FAO and UNIDO; UNEP/MAP-MEDU, MEDPOL and its associated RACs (CP/RAC, SPA/RAC, PAP/RAC and INFO/RAC); UNESCO/HP, WWF, GWP-Med, MIO-ECSDE, GFCM, METAP and Donors (Spain, France and Italy).
Regional Component: 12,891,000 GEF + 29,607,200 co-financing
Investment Fund: 85,000,000 GEF + 3/1 co-financing
The Regional Component [Project Document] [Annexes] [CEO Endorsement]
The objective of the Regional Component is to promote and induce harmonized policy, legal and institutional reforms and fill the knowledge gap aimed at reversing marine and coastal degradation trends and living resources depletion, in accordance with priorities agreed by the countries in the SAP MED and SAP BIO and to prepare the ground for the future implementation of the ICZM Protocol. Accordingly, the Regional Component focuses on:
- the facilitation of policy, institutional and legal reforms for the protection of biodiversity and reducing pollution from land based sources consistent with the provisions of the two SAPs;
- providing assistance to countries in advancing their ICZM and IWRM plans (including the management of aquifers) with emphasis on the protection of biodiversity and the prevention of pollution from land based sources;
- ensuring the effective involvement of all stakeholders in the Regional Component and NAP implementation;
- executing a number of demonstration projects that address biodiversity protection, pollution from land-based sources and enhanced application of ICZM, IWRM and management of aquifers.
The Implementing agency of the Regional Component is UNEP while the Executing Agency is the Coordinating Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan (MEDU-MAP) and its associated Regional Activity Centers (RACs). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are GEF Executive Agencies with Expanded Opportunities, and will therefore receive funding for their corresponding activities directly from GEFSEC.
The Regional Component is also responsible for the overall Co-ordination, Communication and Replication of the Strategic Partnership (both IF and RC components) with the following objectives:
- the design and application of a replication and a communication strategy resulting in concrete replicable projects both identified and financed;
- providing a mechanism for the long-term sustainable financing of the SAPs and NAPs;
- ensuring systematic linkages between both components, and overall monitoring and evaluation of the SP; and
- ensure ownership at the level of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention and MAP and ensuring the sustainability of the SP beyond the life-span of the project.
The Investment Fund [Executive Summary] [Project Brief]
The objective of the Investment Fund is to accelerate the implementation of transboundary pollution reduction and biodiversity conservation measures in priority hotspots and sensitive areas of selected countries of the Mediterranean basin that would help achieve the SAP MED and SAP BIO targets, and is further detailed in the Investment Fund project documentation. Projects supported by the Investment Fund may include:
- Domestic and industrial wastewater treatment in selected priority hotspots;
- Coastal ecosystem management;
- Integrated surface and groundwater management in selected watersheds;
- Biodiversity conservation.
The implementing agency of the Investment Fund is the World Bank. A pipeline of projects has been under development since the Investment Fund concept was approved for pipeline entry in November 2004. Two project concepts have been already reviewed and approved by the GEF Secretariat for pipeline entry and two more are ready to be reviewed.
Projects under Preparation
Bosnia/Croatia - Neretva and Trebisnjica River Basin Management: supports selected intervention for improved integrated surface-groundwater management of transboundary water resources, improved management and use of wetlands ecosystems and priority investments for water pollution reduction including from municipal and industrial sources.
Egypt - Alexandria Integrated Coastal Zone Management: supports small scale investments to reduce industrial and domestic pollution loads in the hot spots of El Mex Bay and Alexandria; and strengthen the national framework for sustainable coastal management.
Project concepts for pipeline
Montenegro - Tourism Development: will pilot low cost wastewater treatment alternative methods in Bar and Ulcinj and improve the management and conservation of the wetlands in the Bojana-Buna Delta by extending the protection status form the coastal strip to the hinterland.
Morocco - Sustainable Development of Nador Lagoon and Al-Hoceima: will support restoration of globally significant coastal ecosystem processes; strengthening the capacity of environmental institutions to monitor and mitigate environmental threats to Mediterranean coastal zones; and the development and implementation of a comprehensive and harmonized coastal zone management legislation and management plan.