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IP/02/1364

Brussels, 25 September 2002

Commission funds 16 environment projects in Third Countries

The European Commission has approved 16 environment projects that will receive funding under the LIFE-Third Countries programme 2002. These new projects, which were selected among 74 proposals, will share a total of €5,773,355. Fifteen projects will be implemented in the Mediterranean region and one in the Baltic region, in the following 10 countries/territories: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Gaza Strip and West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Russia, Tunisia and Turkey. The co-funding by the Commission will contribute to improving the environment through capacity building and the establishment of administrative structures, as well as the development of environmental policies and action programmes in these countries.

The selected projects have capacity building as their main objective (development of institutions, policies, monitoring tools, training facilities, networks, data bases) and cover a wide range of themes, from water and solid waste management to nature and bio-diversity conservation (wetlands, marine environment, wild fauna). Some projects promote alignment with EU environmental regulations or co-operation at regional or transnational level. The total cost of the projects amounts to €9,324.582.

LIFE-Third countries is part of the overall LIFE programme, which is the European Union's scheme that provides financial support for environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, in candidate countries and in bordering regions(1). The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the development and implementation of EU environmental policy.through the financing of specific actions LIFE has three distinct components: LIFE-Environment, LIFE-Nature and LIFE-Third countries. The total budget for LIFE III, which covers the period 2000-2004, is €640 million.

A summary of the 16 selected projects in Third Countries can be found in the annex to this press release.

ANNEX

LIFE THIRD COUNTRIES 2002 SELECTED PROJECTS

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Establishment and institutional strengthening of Bosnia and Herzegovina Water Works Association

Hydro Engineering Institute

LIFE contribution: €273,737 (69.2% of eligible costs)

The main objective of the project is to improve sustainability of the use of water resources through sector partnership by strengthening water works association. The project will provide awareness raising, establish a BHWWA (B&H Water Works Association), develop a strategic action plan including financial planning (Financial Sustainability Plan), develop impact demonstration, creation of Training Centre and organisation of workshops and also establish a handbook etc.

Setting up an operational unit under the Environmental Steering Committee

Environmental Steering Committee

LIFE contribution: €464,330 (66.5% of eligible costs)

The project will help at developing integrated and coherent policy for environmental projection and improved co-operation between the two entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This will be achieved by identifying and organising the overall framework, setting up a national environmental information system, strengthening the efficient management of resources, training staff through workshops and field visits and ensuring dissemination.

CROATIA

Building-up the national ecological network as a part of the pan-european ecological network and the Natura 2000 network

Ministry of Environment Protection and Physical Planning

LIFE contribution: €375,095 (70.0% of eligible costs)

The project aims to strengthen the capacity of the national natural protection authority, to identify Natura 2000 areas, to build up the National ecological network, and to develop the network of people/organisations involved in data gathering. Workshops on requirements of Natura 2000 with stakeholders participation will take place. The project will also contribute to collecting existing data about Natura 2000, preparation of the CRO-EN (ecological network) map, setting-up a network of data-collectors for biodiversity inventory (strategy, public participation), dissemination of project's results and follow-up activities.

Conservation and Management of Wolves in Croatia

Ministry of Environment Protection and Physical Planning

LIFE contribution: €418,200 (66.0% of eligible costs)

The main objectives of the project are to strengthen capacity of the competent administrative body for wolf conservation and management at national and local level and to establish a mechanism for long-term actions to ensure conservation of wolves in Croatia in harmonious coexistence with people.

Corine Land Cover Database for Croatia

Ministry of Environment Protection and Physical Planning

LIFE contribution: €499,479 (69.0% of eligible costs)

The project aims to complete a systematic land cover inventory of Croatia (environmental management, physical planning), to assess and explain land cover changes (caused by war, by other environmental impact), and to integrate Croatian landcover database with European land cover database.

CYPRUS

Preparation of the Cypriot competent authorities for the design and implementation of a noise policy in Cyprus

Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment

LIFE contribution: €297,338 (70.0% of eligible costs)

The project aims to create capabilities and infrastructure within the Cypriot Competent Authorities to enable the design and implementation of an Environmental Noise Policy in accordance with the EU specifications. It will create noise monitoring and assessment capabilities and produce systematic information about current environmental noise.

Development and implementation of an integrated system for the control and monitoring of urban waste water treatment in Cyprus

Water Development Department

LIFE contribution: €400,742 (68.9% of eligible costs)

The project will develop an Integrated Management System, concerning Urban Wastewater Treatment Plants (UWTP) in Cyprus.

The project will carry out: illustration of current situation, development of guidelines, sampling, measurement and analyses, data recording, development and implementation of software system, dissemination and management.

GAZA STRIP AND WEST BANK

Strengthening of the Palestinian Environmental Action Programme

The Palestinian Environmental Authority

LIFE contribution: €319,095 (70.0% of eligible costs)

The project will provide technical assistance to the Environmental Authority, increase the monitoring skills of the staff and prepare a new planning cycle. It will also contribute to the implementation plan for the projects identified in the National Environment Action Programme, environmental monitoring systems, assessment of main industrial and hazardous pollution sources and their impacts, and development of an environmental evaluation system.

JORDAN

Hazardous material in Jordan, environmental and legislative dimensions

National Monitoring Centre

LIFE contribution: €327,425 (70.0% of eligible costs)

The main objective of the project is to set norms and develop procedures for the management (transport, waste disposal) of Hazardous material (including, biological, chemical and radiological materials). A series of 6 seminars, developing a National Strategy, establishing a National Think Tank (NETWORK), applied research and monitoring activities will take place during the project; participants from the Palestinian National Authority will be involved in some of these activities.

LEBANON

Strengthening the environmental legislation development and application system in Lebanon

UNESCO, Cousteau Ecotechnie Chair, University of Balamand

LIFE contribution: €450,500 (68.0% of eligible costs)

The overall objective of the project is to enhance the environmental state of Lebanon through the development and proper application of necessary legislation. The specific objective of the project is to strengthen the capacities of the institutions dealing with environmental legislation development and application.

Technical assistance to reinforce governance in environmental tasks

UNDP Lebanon, International Organisation

LIFE contribution: €425,704 (70.0% of eligible costs)

The project aims to enhance the operational capabilities of the Ministry of Environment. It will contribute to strengthening the structure of the Ministry, improving the utilisation of human resources through targeted training addressed at upgrading management skills and capabilities, strengthening the corporate infrastructure of the Ministry and to train staff, NGO's, and the consulting community, on all skills needed for effective mobilisation of resources and fund raising for supporting efforts that ensure fulfilment of the Ministry's mission.

MOROCCO

Protection of biodiversity and water resources in the Moulouya River basin / Protection de la biodiversité et des resources en eau du bassin versant de la Moulouya

ENDA Maghreb

LIFE contribution: €169,423 (48.3% of eligible costs)

The project aims to the sustainable development of the Moulouya River Basin (MRB), protecting the MRB against domestic and mining contamination, strengthening institutional capacity in terms of management and monitoring at regional level. The project will undertake various activities: a study on MRB biodiversity and polluting activities, strengthening the capacity of the Missour Centre for the co-processing of local wastes, establishment of a regional observatory of environment, research actions, EIA studies, and workshops.

Wetlands Moroccan Centre/ Centre Marocain pour les zones humides

SEO/BirdLife Sociedad española de ornitología, International Organisation

LIFE contribution: €353,294 (67.0% of eligible costs)

This project aims to establish a co-ordination and management unit for wetlands in Morocco named "Wetlands Moroccan Centre", based in Rabat as part of the Ministry of Water and Forests, Direction of Conservation of Forestry, hunting, fish farming and biodiversity.

RUSSIA

Development of the environmental action plan for Municipal solid waste management in St. Petersburg

Committee for National use, environmental protection, safety of St. Petersburg City

LIFE contribution: €379,290 (69.0% of eligible costs)

The overall objective of the project is to develop long term measures for waste management in St. Petersburg. It will be achieved by implementing a feasibility study, State Sanitary Epidemiological an Environmental expertise of the Plan, Pilot Demonstration and Presentations of the plan developed.

TUNISIA

Institutional support to the Tunisian Ministry of Environment and Land Use in the field of environmental education / Programme d'appui institutionnel au Ministère de l'Environnement et de l'Aménagement du Territoire en matière d'éducation environnementale

Ministry of Environment and Land Use / Ministère de l'Environnement et de l'Aménagement du Territoire

LIFE contribution: €394,731 (50.4% of eligible costs)

The project aims to design a national strategy of environmental education and prepare an action plan to implement that strategy. It will undertake pilot actions in the field of environmental education, including adaptation of the existing educational methods and programmes, increase the participation of NGO's and specialised associations in the implementation of the strategy and put in place the mechanisms of monitoring, evaluation and updating of the strategy.

TURKEY

Preserving the Marine Environment of Oludeniz Lagoon

Turkish Marine Research Foundation

LIFE contribution: €224,972 (69.0% of eligible costs)

The project will enable the preservation of the marine environment of Oludeniz Lagoon, an area rich in biological diversity. The main objective is to take immediate action before irreversible damage is done. Actions are designed to assist in policy development for sustainable development of coastal areas and to conduct highly participatory workshops. An environmental monitoring system will be developed, sampling studies and statistical assessments will be undertaken to establish an alert system to warn local administrations. Manuals and guidebooks will also be prepared; awareness campaign and education programme will take place.

(1)Eligible countries/territories under LIFE-Third Countries are: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Marocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the West Bank and Gaza, and the Baltic shoreline of Russia (Kaliningrad and St Petersburg regions)


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