MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region
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Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
Short and medium-term priority environmental action programme (SMAP)
a framework programme of action for the protection of the Mediterranean environment
Saturday 1 March 2003, by Web Team

The Short and Medium-term Priority Environmental Action Programme (SMAP) is a framework programme of action for the protection of the Mediterranean environment, within the context of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. SMAP was adopted unanimously by the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on the Environment, held in Helsinki on the 28 November 1997.

The SMAP is the common basis for environmental purposes (as regards both policy orientation and funding) in the Mediterranean region. Therefore, it is understood that:
- efforts need to be concentrated at both national and regional levels;
- coherence and synergies need to be ensured with existing multilateral programmes and legal instruments, while respecting the specificity of each forum;
- opportunities to attract more funding for the environment in the region need to be increased while optimising use of the existing ones;
- transparency and broad public support of the SMAP, including from civil society, need to be secured in view of ensuring its full implementation.

The Partners have selected by consensus the following five priority fields of action for the SMAP: Integrated water management, integrated waste management, hot spots (covering both polluted areas and threatened bio-diversity elements), integrated coastal zone management, and combating desertification. Supportive measures have also been foreseen, which include: training, capacity building, networking, environmental impact assessments, awareness campaigns etc.

The SMAP also provides for a follow-up mechanism, which includes:
- a Network of SMAP Correspondents, to meet annually;
- a reporting system;
- a review mechanism, after two years of implementation, which might lead to adjustments of the Programme if needed, to be adopted at Ministerial level;
- consultation practices, also involving the civil society, for the implementation of the SMAP and its eventual modifications.
- A Steering Committee of Med Environmental NGOs was created to facilitate such consultations in a co-ordinated way.

At the first Meeting of the SMAP Correspondents Network (Brussels, 16-17 November 1998), Partners discussed, among other aspects, projects for the implementation of SMAP. After evaluation of the 15 regional project proposals submitted to DG Environment, 7 projects were short-listed. These seven regional environmental projects were presented to the Euro-Med Committee (Brussels, 25 November 1998) and to the MED Committee (Brussels, 23 November 1999) and they were endorsed. They are now following the procedure foreseen, in view of being finally financed as part of the MEDA Regional Indicative Programme. These 7 projects correspond to a total amount of EC contribution of more than 6 million euro.

New projects for the implementation of SMAP will be submitted following the call for proposals to be published in February 2000.

The second Meeting of the SMAP Correspondents’ Network is scheduled to take place in Brussels, from 21 to 22 March 2000. Emphasis will be given to the presentation of the new MEDA rules and procedures affecting SMAP, and to more effective ways of implementation of the Programme.

The funding of the projects under SMAP can also be done through the European Investment Bank loans. Other donors (public and private) should join in and be mobilised in the same direction, as well. Active participation at all levels, including the Non-Governmental Organisations, is indispensable to ensure successful implementation of this common exercise.

For more information:
-  visit the SMAP web-site







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