The Mediterranean area is home to about 460 million people. The southern Mediterranean countries account for over 30% of the region’s population and this percentage is continuously increasing. Two-thirds of this inhabit urban areas that are concentrated in coastal zones. Most cities in the southern Mediterranean region face similar challenges related to urban development, energy supply and environmental management. Needs in areas of urban management are particularly significant: e.g. transport systems, water and waste infrastructure, clean energy and energy saving.
In this context, in a major multinational effort, covering all of Northern Africa and much of the Levant, Human Dynamics is leading a consortium to deliver the project Cleaner Energy Saving Mediterranean Cities (CES-MED) — to increase the uptake of environmentally sustainable solutions in the region.
CES-MED supplies support to partners at both national and local level to develop and implement policies toward better environmental protection, secure, safe and environmentally sustainable energy supplies, renewable energy sources and improved energy efficiency. It also involves raising the awareness of local populations with regard to local sustainable policies, knowledge-sharing, and building lasting partnerships between Local Authorities in the EU and in the ENPI South region.
CES-MED operates in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara and Palestine. In each beneficiary country, CES-MED provides training and technical assistance to a selection of 2 to 3 Local Authorities — so they may formulate and apply sustainable policies such as those implied by joining the Covenant of Mayors (CoM), whereby signatories commit to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020.
Based out of Rabat in Morocco and Beirut in Lebanon, we partner with local and national authorities so as to sign up cities and local authorities in North Africa and the Levant to the CoM and assist them in meeting the requirements. We are working with local partners across the region — from Agadir in Morocco and Sidi Bel Abbes in Algeria, to Sousse in Tunisia, Nablus in Palestine and Kab Elias in Lebanon. In this process, we take into account the specific circumstances in each country and municipality, even as the challenges they face related to sustainable development are similar.
The CES-MED team deliver:
CES-MED is one of the EU’s major efforts to address the challenges of sustainable development and the need for ENPI-South countries to face the threat of climate change, environmental degradation and water scarcity. Beyond the immediate economic benefit to the participating countries and cities, recognising that achieving the EU's energy, immigration and environmental goals requires cooperation, the Project forges closer bi-lateral ties between the EU and ENPI-South.
Local Authorities selected by the project have already joined the CoM. Through CES-MED, the first in the region Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) and integral Baseline Emissions Inventories (BEIs) have been launched, starting with Ramla, Shfar'am and Rosh HaAyin in Israel (11 Nov 2014). This is a major step, given that a SEAP is: a plan to reach local sustainability; to establish vision and assess needs; to prepare a plan for intervention; and very importantly, to identify funding. Essentially, a SEAP is a capacity building mechanism.
Since the start of CES-MED, there has been in the region an enormous groundswell of interest in applying sustainable policies. In May 2015, the number of CES-MED selected Local Authorities was 23. More than one hundred municipalities are in the pipeline for the project, some having already joined the Covenant of Mayors. A special program for technical assistantship will be provided for this “wait‐list” of cities.