UNEP and EU bank join forces to slash marine and coastal pollution

The €5m initiative aims to promote adequate water, wastewater, solid waste and industrial emissions management in the Southern Mediterranean region

Big Zero Report 2022

A new €5 million (£4.3m) programme that aims to reduce pollution in the marine and coastal environment in the Mediterranean has been launched.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Mediterranean Pollution Hot Spots Technical Assistance initiative aims to promote adequate water, wastewater, solid waste and industrial emissions management in the Southern Mediterranean region.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will support the preparation of priority investment projects to reduce pollution in three South Mediterranean countries – Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia.

The 2021 State of Finance for Nature report suggests a total of $8.1 trillion (£6.7tn) is required between now and 2050 for the world to meet its climate change, biodiversity and land degradation targets.

According to UNEP, the Mediterranean Sea is facing multiple pressures caused by human activities, including chemical contamination, eutrophication, pollution by marine litter and over-exploitation.

Susan Gardner, Director of UNEP’s Ecosystems Division said: “Untreated discharges of wastewater represent a major problem for Mediterranean ecosystems and the health of the population living in the region. Many large coastal cities still lack a wastewater treatment system and many existing systems are based on outdated and inefficient technologies.

“This joint GEF-EIB-UNEP project will pool resources to decrease pollution and improve the marine ecosystems and the health of people living in the Mediterranean region.”

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