Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development Mid-term evaluation

MedCities participated in the Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE) from the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan, an inclusive consultation process that aimed at collecting comments, opinions and proposals from relevant stakeholders involved in the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) 2016-2025 and in the Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Mediterranean (SCP Regional Action Plan) 2016-2027.

MedCities Secretary General, Mr.Josep Canals, had the opportunity to participate by giving some examples and he pointed out the main challenges the cities and municipalities are facing in the Mediterranean:

- The need to expand the number of Mediterranean Protected Areas and at the same time, the management plans and control of this protected areas.

- The need to protect and control the coastal belt by having common and shared rules and laws in terms of coastal spatial planning.

- Giving cities more resources and to help them to have more food sovereignity.

- Transferring and communication about what SDGs means for citizens and for cities representatives.

- Green jobs opportunities: In the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) green jobs are defined as "positions in agriculture, manufacturing, R&D, administrative, and service activities aimed at substantially preserving or restoring environmental quality". So, environmental jobs are those aimed at protecting and promoting the environment by taking into account the climate crisis. 

- Having external evaluation what the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development is doing itself and a permanent control about what cities are doing and implementing in order to follow up their actions.

- The importance of implementing effective nature based solutions that bring more, and more diverse, nature and natural features and processes into cities, landscapes and seascapes, through locally adapted, resource-efficient and systemic interventions.

These were the main points arisen during the meeting:

You can read in this agenda more details about the event.

1. Objectives of the Consultation

As part of the Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE), this inclusive consultation process aims at collecting comments, opinions and proposals from relevant stakeholders involved in the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) 2016-2025 and in the Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Mediterranean (SCP Regional Action Plan) 2016-2027.

More specifically, the MSSD and SCP Regional Action Plan Mid-Term Evaluations (MTE) aim to inform on (i) the state of the sustainability in the Mediterranean (collecting evidence and carrying out a desktop analysis), and (ii) the implementation progress and gaps, providing answers to the following questions: - Where do we stand with the implementation of the MSSD and SCP Regional Action Plan in the Mediterranean? - What are the successes, challenges and gaps at the mid-term of the MSSD and SCP Regional Action Plan implementation? - What are the opportunities for improvement in the second phase of implementation?

2. Stakeholder Consultation: Methodology

This methodology is the result of adapting, coordinating and whenever possible merging the two individual consultation processes related respectively to the MSDD and the SCP Regional Action Plan. As most of the stakeholders are common for both topics (e.g. MCSD Members, UNEP/MAP Partners) and the timeline is very similar, this integration should increase operational synergies and consolidate learnings from the two Mid-Term Evaluations (MTE). If this integration might reduce slightly the level of details collected during the consultation, it should overall improve the number and quality of inputs from relevant stakeholders. 

2.1. Identification and Classification of Key Stakeholders

The participatory MSSD and SCP Action Plan Mid-Term Evaluations aim at involving all relevant stakeholders at different levels. An identification and classification of key stakeholders has been carried out. For each target group, a specific methodology has been defined in order to insure a timely, effective and fruitful exchange based on the assumed level of expertise, tentative availability and potential interest, as below:

- TIER 1 (UNEP/MAP Components / Regional Activity Centres) – Individual interviews: Semi-structured interviews (around 60 minutes) to collect inputs from UNEP/MAP Components / RACs, based on identified transversal issues.

- TIER 2 (MCSD Members (40) and a selection of UNEP/MAP Partners) – Organization of two focus groups through participatory online workshops (webinars) – one in French and one in English. Tier 2 stakeholders will be invited, on a voluntary basis and under invitation, to take part in one workshop, trying to keep a geographical, gender, sectoral and thematic balance. The 90-120 minutes online workshop will be organized to collect, in a structured, collective and constructive manner, inputs from MCSD Members and UNEP/MAP Partners.

- TIERS 2 and 3 (MCSD Members, UNEP/MAP Partners (53), the SwitchMed Community, and any other relevant stakeholders involved or interested in the MSSD and SCP Regional Action Plan implementation) – Open online survey: All identified stakeholders were invited to fill-in an online survey on the implementation of the SCP Regional Action Plan, MSSD and SDGs in the Mediterranean region and countries.

The list of stakeholders invited to the consultation ensures a diverse and inclusive representation of different groups of interest based on:

- Geographical scope (regional, sub-regional, national)

- Gender and institutional responsibility

- Sector of origin (academia, NGO, IGO, private sector/businesses, etc.)

- Issues covered (environment, climate change, circular economy, social affairs, etc.)

- Proximity and knowledge of the UNEP/MAP system

2.2. Issues to be addressed by the stakeholder consultation

The consultation will be divided in the following three parts, covering main issues related to the MSSD and SCP Regional Action Plan:

- A- Progress and Implementation:

Discussion around state of progress and implementation of the MSSD and SCP Regional Action Plan at regional and national level, including financial mechanisms and policy instruments.

- B- Monitoring and Evaluation:

Discussion around the relevance, accuracy and efficiency of mechanisms to supervise and monitor the implementation of the MSSD and SCP Regional Action Plan, including the tracking of initiatives and projects.

- C- COVID-19 and Sustainability Agenda:

Discussion around impacts of COVID-19 crisis towards the implementation of the SCP Regional Action Plan, MSSD and SDGs in the Mediterranean region and countries. For Tier 1 (interviews) and Tier 2 (webinars), the discussions will start from a quite general perspective and then focus on specific topics related to the respondents' experience and expertise.

4 For stakeholder Tiers 2 and 3 – Online survey:

Stakeholders were consulted through an online survey, where they had to answer to a series of multiple-choice questions regarding their perception on the level of implementation of the MSSD and SCP Regional Action Plan in the Mediterranean. Stakeholders were also be asked to share any relevant proposal and recommendation that could be valuable for the mid-term evaluations. Structure of the online survey:

A - Statistical information

B.1 - Review of the General Progress on the MSSD and SDGs

B.2 - Review of Specific Progress on the thematic MSSD Objectives and Strategic Directions

C.1 - General Progress on SCP Action Plan

C.2 - Specific Progress on SCP Action Plan SCP Regional Action Plan actions applicable to all priority areas SCP Regional Action Plan operational objectives and actions by priority area Food, Fisheries and Agriculture (FFA) Goods manufacturing Tourism Housing and Construction

3. Overview of the MSSD 2016-2025

The MSSD1 was adopted through Decision IG.22/2 by the 19th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP 19) (Athens, Greece, February 2016) as a strategic guiding document to translate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Mediterranean region and countries. The MSSD covers 6 Objectives, 29 Strategic Directions, 165 Actions, 8 Targets and 11 Flagships Initiatives.

4. Overview of the Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP Regional Action Plan)

The Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Mediterranean (SCP Regional Action Plan) was also adopted at COP 19 (Decision IG.22/5), as a forwardlooking framework, to complement and work in full synergy with existing national and regional policy frameworks, and to support the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols.

The SCP Action Plan is an integral part of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) Objective 5 "Transition towards a Green and Blue Economy", which identifies the promotion of and support to green businesses as key in the transition towards a more circular economy.

The SCP Regional Action Plan defines common objectives and identifies actions guiding the implementation of sustainable consumption and production approaches in the Mediterranean. The SCP Regional Action Plan focuses on four key priority areas which are major socioeconomic contributors but at the same time main upstream drivers of pollution generation and environmental pressures on the Mediterranean ecosystems: Food, Fisheries and Agriculture (FFA); Goods Manufacturing; Tourism; Housing and Construction.

References

Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) 2016-2025

Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Mediterranean:  

Mediterranean Sustainability Dashboard (Plan Bleu)

List of selected SCP Indicators to monitor progress on SCP in the Mediterranean Region

Report on the State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean (Plan Bleu, 2020)

Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 (UN)

Sustainable Development Report 2019 - Mediterranean Countries Edition (SDSN)

SwitchMed Library